Skip to navigationSkip to content

How it feels to be a Syrian immigrant in America

Khaled Zarzour came to Chicago on a visit from Syria in July 2012.  His parents, worried for his safety, begged him not to return to Damascus. He hasn’t been back since.

In this video, we see Khaled shortly after his arrival in Chicago, and then again today. Khaled describes the gratitude he feels toward America for offering him a home and enabling him to build a new life. But he also shares the guilt he feels at leaving his fellow countrymen. A part of him still wishes he never left Syria. One day, he says, he will return.

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.