When uprisings and violence engulfed Syria two years ago,
sisters Marine and Vana were forced to make a difficult decision.
Their family in Aleppo was specifically targeted by a rebel group
because of their Armenian heritage and Christian religion. Many of
their friends had even been killed. Leaving family members behind,
the two sisters decided to flee Syria for the United States, afraid
and not knowing what the future might hold.
After a few months in the U.S., the two sisters sought help for
their situation through the Irish International Immigrant Center in
Boston (IIIC), a nonprofit organization founded in 1989, which
assists immigrants from Ireland and around the world as they
integrate into American society. Knowing it would be extremely
dangerous for the sisters to return to Syria, the IIIC helped them
apply for temporary protected status, which had just recently been
announced for Syrians.