For many of the more than 300 people who marched through downtown Baltimore on Feb. 4 to support refugees, the issues at play are not personal.
But for Amer Omar, 22, the issues are real and painful.
When he describes the day in 2009 when the police stormed into his family’s home in Sudan, he cries. They arrested his father and two brothers. They destroyed his home. They even killed his cat. Only Omar and his mother, Makka, escaped.
Their odyssey took them to Libya, then to Turkey, where they came under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Omar, who now lives in East Baltimore, was in Turkey for three years before arriving in America in 2014. Complications kept his mother in Turkey.
“She is the last person I have now,” said Omar, who is Muslim. He has not seen his father or brothers since their arrest. “I don’t want to say they’re alive. I say they are passed away. If they were alive, I would see them on Facebook.”
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