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Tuesday March 31, 2015
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From Damascus to Damas



a few tables with booths, and hung photos of ancient ruins from their native Syria on the walls.

The beaming, gracious couple and three of their four children left Damascus in June 2012. "We are Syrian people," says Barawi. Her English is serviceable but not seamless and slightly better than her husband's, so she did most of the talking. "I'm a pharmacist. My husband had men's shirt factory. We are in opposition."

And how. Jawad Seif's father is Riad Seif, a former member of the Syrian parliament, who pretty much invented the opposition to the Assad regime in his living room in 2000 by starting the Forum for National Dialogue. Imprisoned for more than seven years, in 2012 he was elected vice president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. He is now in exile in Germany.

Barawi and Jawad Seif landed in Ann Arbor in December 2012. They were welcomed by Barawi's childhood friend from Damascus, Dania Shikh Fadle, who now lives here with her husband, physician Hassan Qutob. "Three days she cooked for us. She searched for me an apartment, and to furnish it. She drive a big truck for the first time in her life. I cannot forget what she do for me."

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