JERSEY CITY_ Hussam Al Roustom and his family have been living in Jersey City for the past year, getting used to a new language, a new climate, a new culture.

While that is difficult, Roustom said it’s nothing compared to his journey here: After his grocery store was destroyed during the Syrian Civil War, he paid a smuggler to get his family out of the country.

The smuggler dropped them off in the desert, where he and his wife carried their two small children over a mountain into Jordan, Roustom said. They lived in a refugee camp until they were approved to come here.

In the space of just a year, he said, his life had completely changed.

“Here I’m working hard, I have a job, I’m taking care of my children and I’m ready to help and be supportive in the community,” he said through an interpreter at a recent Jersey City gathering to mark World Refugee Day. …read more.

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