Our mission is to be the unifying federation of Islamic organizations of greater Chicagoland, the leading advocate of Muslim community interests and a catalyst for enriching American society.


Q and A with the Syrian Community Network

Q: Thank you so much for partnering on our Task Force and being available on our helpline for assistance related to unemployment and insurance. What kind of calls have you been getting – what is the situation in our community?

A: Many have fears about the pandemic and [are] asking questions about their safety and the safety of their families. They are worried about their children’s schooling, they have already had interrupted schooling due to the crisis in Syria. They are worried about their livelihood and jobs. 

Many calls came in about applying for unemployment, applying for new jobs, their state benefits – food stamps, Medicaid, and other emergency help. Some are worried about their green card status via immigration services.

Q: What kind of other work has SCN been up to during this CoVID19 response time?

A: We are launching our On-Line Tutoring for the children in our after school program. This will start today, Wednesday, April 1st. We will support the children with their e-learning activities.

Q: Have any of the SCN refugees shared stories about their previous lives due to similarities between them and Covid19?

A: They are praying for everyone’s safety and health. Some of our families said, this is how we had to live in Syria while the bombs were falling on us. 

One man said, “Now [that] the Covid19 is happening and we hope this will be a time for reflection, prayer and empathy. We have to help each other…”

Another man said, “We have seen it all, Allah will help us…” 

Q: What is one lesson Americans can learn from refugees during this tough time?

A:  We can all learn about being resilient, about standing strong during a crisis, and making the best of your situation that Allah gave you.

Thank you for the update! May God be with us all. If you are an organization or member contributing to Covid19 relief efforts and want us to tell your story, reach out to our communications department.

*Originally published on April 1, 2020 in our eNews.