Memphis Business Owner Struggles To Reach Family In Syria

Memphis Business Owner Struggles To Reach Family In Syria

With family members back in Syria, Raffe Sakan says her anxiety spikes with each passing day. Sakan's mother, two brothers and sister live in Syria, and she hasn't been able to reach them on the phone in a week.
Memphis, TN -- With family members back in Syria, Raffe Sakan says her anxiety spikes with each passing day.

Sakan's mother, two brothers and sister live in Syria, and she hasn't been able to reach them on the phone in a week.

"I try and call and call and call and I can not have connection," a clearly pained Sakan said. "It is so hard, I can't do much. I can't."

Sakan left Syria in 1990. She now runs Raffe's Deli on Poplar.

"It's a mess, I don't believe Americans, being in this country, and I have a business, I don't think Americans, they can afford to go to Syria," she said. "We need to fix our problems here first."

Sakan says last she talked with her family they had no electricity and there were long lines for food. She said her sister-in-law was only allowed to purchase one loaf of bread.

"I never felt I'm so blessed to be here," Sakan said. "We don't do choices there."

"We don't know who is the bad guy, I mean I heard it is so not safe it is just like neighbors, you can not trust your neighbor next door because there is no government, no laws," she said.

On Tuesday evening, several protestors displayed signs on a pedestrian bridge over Sam Cooper Boulevard. 

"Whether you believe that Assad really used chemical weapons against his own people or not, we can't afford this," Joseph Davis said.

Back at her store, Sakan anxiously waits for the phone to ring with news from Syria.

"People who really want to help, who need to help are the people around like Turkey, Jordan, I wish even Israel will get involved just to help," she said. "I don't know."

"I have a few customers they give me hugs they say are you alright?" Sakan said.
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