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A refugee’s daughter, Audrey Assad, details her family history in video

Critically acclaimed singer, songwriter and author Audrey Assad is passionate about the plight of refugees. In a video recently released by the creative director at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, Blaine Hogan, following the recent news on immigration from the Trump administration, Assad shares her personal story as the daughter of a Syrian refugee who fled his home country to make a life in the US.

The video of her talking about her family history was filmed during The Justice Conference last summer. To watch the video on this page, please click the “play” button above.

“Most refugees are fleeing war or economic destruction and they have suffered a lot,” shares Audrey in the video. “And when we avoid not only our own suffering, but the suffering of others, I think what we are really avoiding is the cross. Embracing refugees and welcoming them is welcoming Jesus. And we are missing out on the opportunity to do that when we hold them at arm’s length. There is so much gift to be received in people who have suffered. I am the person that I am because I am the daughter of a Syrian refugee. What artists, engineers, architects are you going to miss out on if you don’t welcome refugees.”

Audrey’s father, Riad Assad, was born in Damascus, Syria. Divorce and subsequent homelessness drove his mother and siblings to Lebanon. Riad’s mother, a single woman in poverty, could not protect her children from danger at home while remaining in the Middle East. She was able to get refugee status and moved them all to the US. Riad has since become a proud US citizen, accomplished businessman and civil servant. In many ways, his drive and character have made Audrey the woman and the artist that she is today.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are 13.5 million Syrians in need, 6.3 million are displaced within the country, over 4 million have fled Syria with 2.7 million in Turkey alone. The UNHCR’s latest figures reveals the crisis as families are escaping across borders, fleeing the bombs and bullets that have devastated their homes.

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