According to Catholic Charities, 21 families from war-torn Syria have been re-settled in the Portland area over the past several months
The local organization has been assisting the families, who said they needed to leave their homeland due to fear of persecution.
Raed Albaradam and his family were the first to arrive, about eight months ago.
"I had a mortar in my house," Albaradam said through a translator. "My house was destroyed. For that reason, I didn't have another option, just to run away."
Albaradam said he fled Syria three years ago, seeking safety in neighboring Jordan.
After years of background checks and interviews, his family was accepted as refugees by the United States.
"We came here looking for a better future for our kids," Albaradam said. “We are good people, and we can help to build this country."
So far, the United States has accepted more than 10,000 refugees from Syria.
Albaradam, who currently works as a dishwasher at a local restaurant, said he remains in contact with his two brothers, who remained in his home country.
"There is no security," said Albaradam. "They're always afraid, that maybe they will die any minute."
Albaradam said he is thankful for the opportunity to raise his five children in a safe place.
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