10:28 Apr. 7, 2016
Syrian family is ready to build a better life in the U.S
The first Syrian family to be resettled in the U.S. under a speeded-up "surge operation" for refugees left Jordan on Wednesday (April 6) and arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, to start a new life.
Watch also E.U. plans to resettle 54,000 Syrians
Ahmad al-Abboud, who is being resettled with his wife and five children, said he is thankful to Jordan, where he has lived for three years after fleeing Syria's civil war. But the 45-year-old from Homs, Syria, said he was ready to build a better life in the U.S.
"I'm happy. America is the country of freedom and democracy, there are jobs opportunities, there is good education, and we are looking forward to having a good life over there," al-Abboud said.
They have been living in Mafraq, north of Amman. Al-Abboud was unable to find work, and the family was surviving on food coupons.
"I am ready to integrate in the U.S. and start a new life," Al-Abboud told The Associated Press in Amman's airport before the family boarded a flight to Kansas City.
Al-Abboud said he wanted to learn English and find a job to support his family.
A spokeswoman for the social services organization helping resettle the family said they arrived in Kansas City late Wednesday night.
Since October, 1,000 Syrian refugees have moved to the U.S. from Jordan. President Barack Obama has set a target of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees by Sept. 30.
A resettlement center opened in Amman in February to help meet that goal, and about 600 people are interviewed every day at the center.