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Local man worried for family in Syria

Syrian American Ibrahim Ekaidi Syrian American Ibrahim Ekaidi

Kenner, La. - Syrian Americans living in New Orleans say they're horrified as they learn new details of the devastation in their home country.

Ibrahim Ekaidi doesn't have enough words to describe how he feels about the fighting going on in Syria. In the past year and a half, Ekaidi has lost 16 immediate family members to the violence.

Most of Ekaidi's family have died fighting for the Syrian Free Army, one of many factions fighting against the government of Bashar Assad. The family is from Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, that now sits in ruins.

Ekaidi, a Sunni Muslim, says the Syrian people want freedom but instead, they're being killed. Just last week, a chemical attack left hundreds dead. The attack is being linked to President Assad.

Ekaidi says, "It is absurd. There is no human being with morals can do this type of things to people."

As the United States weighs its options, Ekaidi urges President Obama to take action. Most of his family have now fled to a refugee camp in Turkey and he says life as they knew it will never be the same.

"Time is right now and please Mr. President do the right thing and take him out. It's time for the Syrian people to live again," Ekaidi said.

The Southern University professor and his wife each travel to the war-torn region every few months, flying into Turkey and then sneaking into Syria. Their goal is to bring aid to their families.

Ekaidi explains, "I was there, I took them to stores. I bought some stuff for them. Whatever I can do, I will do in a heartbeat."

But now, Ekaidi says the Syrian people need outside help to prevent more innocent lives from being lost. He's praying that someone will step in and put an end to the violence.

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