Syrian Refugees Arrive in Amsterdam NY, Ask to Go Back Home
By Fred Furnace
Published December 13th, 2015
Syrian Refugees trying to flee Amsterdam, NY. (Photo by Robert Cotic)
AMSTERDAM — The City of Amsterdam welcomed its first batch of refugees from war-torn Syria this week, but the refugees were less than impressed with their new surroundings.
In fact, they asked to be sent back home.
“They brought us from one hell-hole to another," said refugee Yousef Amad, who spoke to the Smudge through a translator. "Are you sure Amsterdam is not also a war zone? This place looks like it was left for dead decades ago."
"We don't mean to sound ungrateful, it is just that things were much better in our war-torn homeland,” said another refugee, Mahmood Hazani. “This Amsterdam place is just awful. How do these people live like this?”
“The buildings are all boarded up, and the city is basically a ghost town,” he added. “The few people we have seen walking around the streets look poor and miserable. This place is like Aleppo, but with more hicks and a higher obesity rate.”
“Plus the weather here is just dreadful,” added Mahmood's wife, Amira. “And this Time Warner Internet service is slow as pomegranate syrup. What, they couldn't spring for FiOS?”
For Amsterdam — which said it was only trying to help — agreeing to take in refugees seemed like a “no brainer.”
"We can relate with these people,” said Mayor Ann Thane, whose town, like Syria, has also fallen on hard times. “And we have plenty of abandoned, boarded-up buildings to house them. It just makes good sense.”
“Plus, even though these refugees are dirt poor, we are hoping they can jumpstart our economy,” she continued. “We are completely out of other ideas.”
When informed of the refugees’ decision to leave Amsterdam because the town is “miserable,” Mayor Thane admitted she was not all that surprised.
"I get where they are coming from," she said. "Many of our people are indeed miserable; but others are just heavily addicted to crack. In fairness, the crack addicts are usually pretty happy while they are high. So, at least we have that.”
Mr. Hazani said the refugees intend to return to Syria as soon as they can find an affordably priced flight out of Albany International Airport with fewer than 15 connections. Experts say such a flight may not be available until sometime next summer, at the earliest.
“Even air travel is worse in this shithole," he stated.