FORT MYERS, Fla. - The images of Syria we're seeing now are difficult to watch, but even more so for those who've lived there. WINK News spoke with two Southwest Floridians who were born and raised in the country.
Explosions and gunfire echo in parts of Syria. It's a far cry from the country Dr. Mazen Daoud lived in for 23 years. "It used to be a beautiful country," Daoud said. "It used to be a very safe country. Certain parts of the country are totally safe. There's no hostility, there's no killing, there's no bombing. Certain areas of the country, absolute war zone, with bombing, killing, everything."
Images of his native country hang in his Fort Myers office, reminding him of the mother, father and siblings still there. "I actually call there about two to three times a day, every time I hear something on Facebook, on the internet, I call, are you guys okay?" Daoud said. "It is very difficult to have family over there because it's a war."
Daoud visited Syria just two weeks ago. And, while images of the chemical attack in Damascus are difficult to see, he said it's no time to rush to judgement or military action. "In a war zone, you can not tell who did it." Jeam Jizarly of Fort Myers, originally from Damascus, lost his 16-year-old nephew to civil war violence. "My nephew, he went to give first aid to the kids," Jizarly said. "They are dying there, they are suffering from the airplane bomb. The worst regime that ever controlled Syria. Even the worst regime in the whole Middle East."
He said many Syrian-Americans are sending money, clothing, whatever they can to aid the people. The Syrians' only hope, he believes, is American intervention. "Everybody knows that the United States makes a difference. Nobody else. Nobody else can solve that problem but United States."
Daoud on the other hand, feels diplomacy is only way to go. "It's probably the emotions of the President when he sees all these women and children dead from chemical attack," Daoud said. "But, you can not take a country to war based on your emotions. You have to really calculate it based on the interest of your country. Mr. President, I voted for you. Please keep out of Syria."