Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Among Syrian Americans, the conflict at home (Video)




Earlier this year, KPCC staff videographer Grant Slater began videotaping solidarity rallies held in Los Angeles by Middle Eastern immigrants in support of democratic reforms back home. This led him to a series of other stories, those of Southern California immigrants from Arab countries watching and grappling with what has become known as the Arab Spring from 8,000 miles away

With the help of a few contributors, the stories of several of these immigrants have been featured this week in a series of videos.

Today's final feature explores how the violent unrest in Syria has carried over to the Syrian immigrant community here, with Syrian Americans deeply divided over the prospect of revolution.

Yesterday's video explored the world of Bakersfield's Yemeni immigrants, among them check-cashing store owner Faroq Almulaikey, who hopes to return to Yemen someday to live.

On Wednesday we met two Southern California doctors, both of them immigrants from Libya, who became friends after both traveled there recently to treat victims of the conflict.

In two separate videos Tuesday, we met Egyptian immigrants Mostafa Said, manager of Los Angeles' Habibi Cafe hookah lounge, and patron Tamer Kattan; we also met Wedad Abdou, a Jet Propulsion Laboratories scientist born in Alexandria. They shared their thoughts on the revolution in their native country and its aftermath.

Monday's video profiled Bechir Blagui, a young Tunisian-born businessman and pro-democracy activist who came of age politically in Los Angeles.

Yesterday, Slater discussed the divisions between local Syrian Americans and what he learned while filming and editing the Arab Spring series on KPCC's Madeleine Brand Show.