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Youth Sports Help Syrian Refugees Adjust to Life in America

posted on: Mar 24, 2017

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BY: David Demaria/Contributing Writer

As Syrian refugees continue to enter the US, they look for ways to integrate themselves into American society. One of the ways young Syrian refugees can quickly adapt to their new country is through participation in youth sports.

Sports have always been a transcendent activity that has the ability to bring people together and narrow divisions. Sports can also be instrumental in helping refugees from Syria and other Arab countries acclimate themselves to the US and be part of a community.

One University of Virginia student, Yahya Abou-Ghazala, has started an initiative through Go Fund Me to set up a sports center and distribute sports equipment at the Syrian refugee camp in Bekaa, Lebanon.

Yahya is working with the Northern Virginia Refugee Fund and SAWA for Development and Aid to help this wonderful idea become a reality. Yahya grew up playing soccer and understands the benefits associated with staying active and being part of a team.

This kind of idea could serve as a model for refugees seeking to adjust to life in the U.S., and existing American citizens who may want to get to know their new Arab American neighbors through youth sports programs.

Whatever the outcome of Yahya’s initiative, it’s certainly one with a lot of positivity, and it could help cultivate fresh ideas on the part of Americans and Arab refugees alike to help create unity through the power of sport, and the hopefulness of future generations.