Muhammad Tanbal, 45, and his family stand outside their hotel, a day after arriving in the Unites States on July 22. The Kurdish family fled their home in Aleppo after violence broke out in 2012. They went to Istanbul where they lived for two years before coming to the United States through the UNHCR.
Nedal Al Hayak talks on the phone at home during a day off from work in his new home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Nadal fled Daraa, Syria, with his wife Raeda, daughter, Layal, and son Taym. Before leaving Nedal was tortured and beaten in Syria by forces loyal to Bashar Al Assad.
Layal Al Hayek rides her bike around her new family home. Refugee families in this neighborhood are aided by a wealthy, established Syrian community that fled to Michigan after the 1982 massacre of thousands in the largely-Sunni city of Hama, carried out by then-President Hafez al-Assad.
Ojleen Tanbal and her mother Najah, play with the Ojleen's younger sister, Maryam, while Ojleen's grandmother Maamo prays at a their hotel room, a day after arriving in the United States.
The Haji Khalif family carries their belongings out of their first placement home. The Kurdish family of five moved here from their first placement home in Dearborn due to their daughter’s disability. They originally fled their own home in Aleppo and lived in Jordan before coming to the United States.
The Haji Khalif family arrives at their new home. The building is home to another Syrian refugee family, which helps create community as well as making it easier on case workers and volunteers to visit.
Refugee families play in the neighborhood community pool. The majority of the children did not know how to swim, and remained in the shallow end under the constant eye of their parents. Because of the instability created by the civil war, many of the refugee children have spent years without access to a basic education.
Nedal tries to get his daughter Layal to talk to her grandfather on the phone from Syria. He worries about the safety of the rest of his family, whom still live in Syria.
Sermin Nakhesh and her husband, Badi Dabjan, both volunteers in the Syrian community, wait to greet the Hoshan family (not pictured) at Michigan’s Detroit Metropolitan Airport on July 31. The Hoshans fled Daraa, Syria three years ago. The civil war in Syria has created four million refugees and 11 million displaced people. Despite pledging to help, the United States has resettled fewer than 1,000 refugees. Over 12,000 applications have been submitted since the start of the conflict.
Nedal Al Hayek’s International Committee of the Red Cross travel paperwork, an emergency travel document recognized by the UNHCR, which is given as a one-way travel document for refugees.
Muhammad Tanbal prays with his son, also named Muhammad, in their new home in Bloomfield Hills. The family says they felt they would have a better chance in the United States than in Turkey, where they fled to from Syria. Nearly one million refugees have attempted to resettle in Turkey since the start of the civil war across the border.
The Al-Zoobi family spends time together in their home. They fled Syria three years ago, and have lived in the United States for four months. "I didn't know if bombs would come out of nowhere and kill my children," said Louai Al-Zoobi. (third from left). His son has a learning disability which he thinks will be better treated in America.
Muhammad Tanbal and his family eat dinner, donated from the Syrian community in Bloomfield Hills, at their hotel a day after they arrived in the states. A meal of rice, chicken, and yogurt, is somewhat of staple for the family and a common Syrian dish.
The Tanbal family clothes hang outside their new home in Bloomfield Hills.
Badi Dabjan, a volunteer in the Syrian community and asylum seeker, smokes hookah with Nedal Al Hayek and Thaer Hoshan, both refugees from Daraa, Syria, at a community potluck. The gathering was an opportunity for many of the new refugee families to meet one another for the first time.
Rasha Basha, a Syrian volunteer in Bloomfield Hills, goes over medical paperwork with Raeda Al Hayek, at the Al Hayek's new home.
Nedal Al Hayek helps pick out plants at Home Depot for a local landscaping job. Nedal spent three years studying to be an engineer in Syria, but without his college transcript in the United States, has had to rely on landscaping jobs to make a living.
The Al-Zoobi family children at play in their new home in Dearborn.
Members of the local Muslim community participate in Friday Prayers at the Unity Center. The center serves as a mosque, school, and meeting space. It is a central hub for the community, where many of the area refugees go to pray.
Syrian families gather at a local potluck. The even was organized so refugee families could meet each other.
Nedal plays outside with his son, Taym, and daughter, Layal. Although he would eventually like to return to Syria, Nedal says he believes that his kids will have a better life growing up in America.
Muhammad Tanbal smokes a cigarette and sips coffee on the back porch of his new home. He says he is eager to work, and for his children to get into school, but the process has been slowed by paperwork and their limited English-speaking capabilities