LAKEWOOD RANCH-- Most Syrian-Americans live in either New York or Michigan. In Sarasota and Manatee counties, there are only six families from Syria.
One of those families, is the Altajars of Lakewood Ranch. While they enjoy living their lives in florida, its hard for them to not think about their homeland now-a-days and the loved ones who never left.
Reminiscing about their last trip to Syria three years ago, the Altajar family knows it will be a while before they can go back.
"We can't even comprehend what's happening." said Dr. Sam Altajar.
Dr. Altajar, a cardiologist in Sarasota, along with his wife and three children have lived in the United States for the last twenty years. He grew up in Syria. That's where other relatives, including his three sisters remain.
"I'm worried about them. I talk to them on a weekly basis, sometimes on a daily basis if I hear if something bad happened," he said.
Like the day of an alleged sarin gas attack orchestrated by the Syrian government. They are disturbing images that play over and over in 23-year-old Sarah Altajar's head.
"It's so sad. When we see the neighborhoods we used to hang out in and people we know in the same cities. It's really sad. I can't believe someone could do this," said Sarah.
That someone, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has no supporters in the Altajar's house.
"There are still some people, that for some reason like him. There are people that believe he is still a good guy and it's difficult for me to understand," said the Doctor.
It's also difficult for the Altajar's to decide if military action from the U.S. would benefit the Syrian people.
"The issue is not going to get resolved. It's going to punish Assad, but I'm afraid it will affect innocent people," he said.
People like the family's relatives, who continue to live in fear everyday