Syria

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Sunday afternoon, refugees, volunteers and community members gathered at the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Ahmad al-Abboud and his family's arrival in Kansas City. They were the first Syrian family to be resettled in the United States as part of the 2016 refugee "surge" under the Obama administration.

The Pentagon

Kansas City leaders seemed unified Friday in supporting President Donald Trump’s decision to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base in response to that government’s deadly chemical weapons attack this week.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

It is late morning, and Barb Wunsch limps a bit as she emerges from her office in the enrollment area of the Hickman Mills School District. Twice already she’s banged her knee on the corner of her desk in the process of jumping up to cope with a new situation.

Outside of her office, at least a dozen people sit at tables. The adults busily sort through piles of papers and fill out forms. Children color or read the children’s books on hand in the office. Wunsch moves among the tables, dispensing advice, checking on documents and admiring a newborn in a baby carrier.

James Vaughan / Flickr - CC

It's a promise we've heard so many times before: Flying cars! Will a new plan from Uber finally get commuters off the ground? Then, we find out why Robert D. Kaplan expects more and more waves of refugees to sweep the globe.

Laura Ziegler KCUR 89-3

Taher Barazi left his parents and siblings in Damascus, Syria last month to study at Park University in Parkville, Missouri.

He's on a student visa. He's not one of 10,000 Syrian refugees who’ve come to the United States under the United States resettlement program, which just reached its quota at the end of August.

Alex Smith / KCUR 89-three

Despite an intense week getting his bearings, Ahmad al-Abboud smiled and expressed his gratitude at a press event Monday morning in Kansas City. 

“God bless Kansas City!” he said through an interpreter.

The 45-year-old former construction worker, his wife and five children are the first Syrian family to be resettled in the United States as part of a refugee “surge operation.” They arrived last Wednesday evening.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt criticized the president for his lack of leadership during a stop in Kansas City Tuesday. At the same time, President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande held a joint press conference and called for increased cooperation to fight the Islamic State.

“What happens when the United States fails to provide leadership in the world is bad things and more disruptive things fill that leadership vacuum,” says Blunt.

Bernard Pollack / Flickr--CC

As the debate on whether to accept Syrian refugees rages, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says now is not the time for a new national identity.

“As Americans, we have always been a country of immigrants,” Nixon says. “We have always a place that welcomed people who had horrific things happen to them, whether it has been in Africa or Bosnia or now in Syria.”

He says he understands the concerns of Missourians who are reticent to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States.

The U.S. is pledging to take in 85,000 refugees from around the world in 2016. The Ethics Professors discuss whether that's enough as the crisis in Syria continues. Also, is it ethical to let the free market decide prescription prices if that puts drugs outside the reach of many who need them, and should leaders remain in their positions if they, or their organization, are under investigation?

Guests:

Elle Moxley / KCUR

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. It was originally reported in September 2015.

As hundreds of thousands of refugees flee Syria for Europe, an Overland Park, Kansas, nonprofit that provides humanitarian aid continues its work to stabilize the situation inside the war-torn country.

The number of asylum-seeking Syrians in the United States is small – just 1,500 since the conflict began four years ago – and pressure is mounting to accept more refugees.

But Syrian-born Kansas Citians aren’t sure it’s the best way to help.