Birmingham Residents Rally to Show Support for Syrian Refugees

 ========= Old Image Removed =========Array
(
    [_wp_attached_file] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2015/12/refugee-group.jpeg
        )

    [_wp_attachment_metadata] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:5:{s:5:"width";i:1920;s:6:"height";i:1275;s:4:"file";s:26:"2015/12/refugee-group.jpeg";s:5:"sizes";a:13:{s:6:"medium";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-336x223.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:223;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:5:"large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-771x512.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:771;s:6:"height";i:512;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-140x140.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:12:"medium_large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-768x510.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:510;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"1536x1536";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:28:"refugee-group-1536x1020.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:1536;s:6:"height";i:1020;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:24:"refugee-group-80x80.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-600x338.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:338;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-600x600.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-468x311.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:468;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-399x265.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:399;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:28:"ab-block-post-grid-landscape";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-600x400.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:400;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:25:"ab-block-post-grid-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-600x600.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:26:"refugee-group-125x125.jpeg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:12:{s:8:"aperture";s:1:"0";s:6:"credit";s:0:"";s:6:"camera";s:0:"";s:7:"caption";s:0:"";s:17:"created_timestamp";s:1:"0";s:9:"copyright";s:0:"";s:12:"focal_length";s:1:"0";s:3:"iso";s:1:"0";s:13:"shutter_speed";s:1:"0";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:11:"orientation";s:1:"0";s:8:"keywords";a:0:{}}}
        )

    [_media_credit] => Array
        (
            [0] => Ashley Cleek
        )

    [_navis_media_credit_org] => Array
        (
            [0] => WBHM
        )

    [_navis_media_can_distribute] => Array
        (
            [0] => 
        )

    [_imagify_optimization_level] => Array
        (
            [0] => 1
        )

    [_imagify_data] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:2:{s:5:"stats";a:3:{s:13:"original_size";i:2145490;s:14:"optimized_size";i:427148;s:7:"percent";d:80.090000000000003;}s:5:"sizes";a:10:{s:4:"full";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:54:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/12/refugee-group.jpeg";s:13:"original_size";i:1941838;s:14:"optimized_size";i:277824;s:7:"percent";d:85.689999999999998;}s:9:"thumbnail";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:6:"medium";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:5:"large";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:62:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/12/refugee-group-771x512.jpeg";s:13:"original_size";i:99206;s:14:"optimized_size";i:72105;s:7:"percent";d:27.32;}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:60:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/12/refugee-group-80x80.jpeg";s:13:"original_size";i:3489;s:14:"optimized_size";i:3417;s:7:"percent";d:2.0600000000000001;}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:62:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/12/refugee-group-600x338.jpeg";s:13:"original_size";i:57777;s:14:"optimized_size";i:42358;s:7:"percent";d:26.690000000000001;}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:62:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/12/refugee-group-468x311.jpeg";s:13:"original_size";i:43180;s:14:"optimized_size";i:31444;s:7:"percent";d:27.18;}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}}}
        )

    [_imagify_status] => Array
        (
            [0] => success
        )

)
1622254502 
1450542688

A about four dozen people gathered Saturday morning in Birmingham’s Railroad Park downtown to take a picture showing that some Alabamians would like to accept Syrian refugees.

Back in November, when Governor Robert Bentley stated that Alabama would not accept any refugees fleeing the war in Syria, Rebecca Kallies felt betrayed.

“He is just perpetuating the bigotry that we are so known for,” says Kallies. “Somebody’s got to say no. We are going to say something different.”

So, she started the Facebook group “Refugees Welcome in Alabama-Birmingham” and invited over a thousand people to gather in Railroad Park and show support for refugees.

A group of teenage girls from the Islamic Academy of Alabama came with their teachers. They made handmade signs that read “No to Islamophobia” and “Refugees are Human Beings!”

One of their teachers, Yasmin Nimer, said that more members of the Muslim community want to come, but were too afraid “to be in public places.”

Yasmin Nimer, the Islamic Studies teacher and a counselor at the Islamic Academy of Alabama

Ashley Cleek,WBHM
Yasmin Nimer is an Islamic Studies teacher and a counselor at the Islamic Academy of Alabama.

Nimer says that the recent announcement by presidential candidate Donald Trump to bar Muslims from the U.S. has spread fear through the Muslim community.

High school senior, Dina Abdelqader, 17, came to show her support for refugees.

She shows a picture of a KKK flier on her phone that reads: “fight the spread Islam.” Abdelqader wears a bright pink headscarf. She says she hasn’t felt any increased hatred or suspicion in the past month, but that her friends tell her “to be careful.”

Gini Mohammad watches as her three children play in the park.

“We need to open our hearts and our doors. It could be us,” Mohammad says. “Kids, they are dying every single day. It could be us.”

After about an hour, those gathered stand together and hold up the letters to a hand-made sign that reads “Alabama Welcomes Refugees.”

 

Birmingham’s poet laureate writes her homecoming

Birmingham’s inaugural poet laureate, Salaam Green, finds her home in the sensory details, the most important being poetry. But finding that home was a process.

Birmingham-Southern baseball team vies for an NCAA title as the school prepares to close

When Coach Jan Weisberg called the Birmingham-Southern College baseball team to an impromptu meeting on March 27, players were confused. They gathered together in the locker room and found out the news – BSC would close on May 31.

EPA formally denies Alabama’s plan for coal ash waste

The federal agency says the state’s plan was not as protective as federal standards, allowing toxic waste to remain in unlined pits that may contaminate groundwater. Alabama officials say they will appeal.

Here’s what you said were the hidden gems in Walker County

There are things we notice about where we live that others might miss. That might be a hidden gem or other surprise. We set out to discover a few of them in Walker County at our recent News and Brews community pop-up.

After years of increases, Jefferson County sees a decline in overdose fatalities

Following years of record-breaking increases, Jefferson County is finally seeing a decline in overdose fatalities. We talk to local officials to better understand the reasons for the drop, and if it’s a sign of a longer-term trend.

Alabama district attorney says ‘justice demands’ new trial for death row inmate

Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr filed a brief expressing his support for Toforest Johnson’s bid to receive a new trial. Carr has supported a new trial since 2020, but the latest filing detailed the findings of a post-conviction review of the case.

More Front Page Coverage