September 1, 2017



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Why are individuals fleeing from Syria?

Syrians are fleeing as a result of authoritarian government, persecution, and violence. The Assad Regime is fighting the opposition and leaving thousands of innocent citizens in the crossfire.  Terrorist activity in the country also forces many citizens to flee due to the sheer multitude of violence and animosity.

Primary language(s) in Syria

(Statistics from “The World Factbook” on CIA website)





Religions in Syria

(Statistics from

92.8% Muslim

5.2% Christian

2.0% Unaffiliated

<1% Other Religions

Guidelines for Interacting with Syrian Refugees

What are some cultural differences?

  • As with all of the Muslim-majority groups that we resettle, Muslim Syrians do not eat pork or any meat that is not halal (prepared in a special way).
  • Marriage is usually arranged by the parents.
  • Direct eye contact is preferred and indirect eye contact can be viewed as rude.

What are some resettlement considerations?

  • As with most communities that CRIS resettles, there is a culture of visiting friends, family, and neighbors regularly back home. Individuals may not be used to the infrequency and/or formality of visiting others in American culture which can consequently be isolating.
  • Large families often live together in one household.
  • Syria does not have a strong healthcare system, so new arrivals in the United States may be unfamiliar with regular doctors visits and general navigation of accessing care.
  • Compared to other resettled communities in Columbus, the Syrian community is small. As a result, new arrivals may need additional support.

Common Phrases (Arabic)


Welcome: Ahlan was sahlan

Hello: As-salam ‘alaykum

How are you?: Kayfa halak? (m); kayfa halik (f)

Yes: Na’am

No: ‘La

Thank you: Shukran

Also – a video with greeting in Arabic.

More helpful resources:

*This collection of information is neither perfect nor comprehensive.  Each culture is unique and cultural norms are diverse even among individuals from the same culture.  Additionally, the refugees from the following places are diverse, as is easy to see in the guidelines in this report.

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