Fresno is no stranger as a harbor for the helpless and a place of protection for the persecuted. Waves of refugees made this soil home. Syrians must be welcomed with the warmest extension of Fresnan arms.
From raisins to real estate, the descendants of Hayk continue to shape Fresno, standing tall today despite the Armenian Genocide that devastated eastern Anatolia. When the Pathet Lao unleashed brutal repression against the Hmong for supporting the U.S. military, Fresno became a home for the refugees and they have breathed new life in the city.
As civil war broke out in El Salvador during the 1980s, many left their homelands and mad the long trek through Mexico with many “Salvis” made Fresno their home and site for the conviction of an assassin of Archbishop Oscar Romero.
Finally, when the Indian government attacked the most important Sikh places of worship in 1984 and even suspended the “right to life” in Punjab, many Sikhs gave up on any promise of a future in India and made a new home in Fresno.
The Syrians will be the newest members of our Fresno families – let us welcome them with love, kindness, and hospitality not fear and xenophobia.
Kamaljit Gill, Fresno