Toledo is the best place for me.

Due to the civil war in Syria, I came to this country in 2012.  In Syria, I was a businessman.  I owned a jeans factory.  After arriving here, I first worked in a plastics factory, because I have experience as a foreman and a supervisor.  My father owned a plastics factory in Syria.

I also worked as a volunteer with US Together, Inc., an organization which coordinates services for immigrants and refugees through education, support services and networking opportunities, before being hired full time.  At the end of 2017, I started my own business buying and flipping houses.

Since coming to this country, I have been to Florida, California, North Carolina – but in the end, Toledo is the best place for me to live because I like the people in Toledo, who have always been friendly and kind to me and my family.  I have received a lot of help from them, teaching me English and supporting me in my search for a job and while starting my own business.  I received my Business Management diploma from Global Tech College.

Toledo is home to me and my wife Rasha, and our children Maria and Mark, who were both born here.  Every time we think about trying to move from Toledo, we feel we cannot move.  I think Toledo is the best place to raise our kids and for our family because there are two important things that exist here I have not found anywhere else: living in Toledo is affordable and most people in Toledo I have met are really friendly and welcoming.

I do have a dream to start a jeans factory one day, and this factory will be in Toledo!

When finding “the” place to call his new home after arriving in America, George was looking for the hustle and bustle of a larger city to remind him of his home in Aleppo, Syria – he tried several cities but found it here in Toledo and it’s people. We caught up with him at the house that he is rehabbing where he has done a lovely job. George’s letter is our third letters to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, an annual celebration of our nation’s shared immigrant heritage and cultural diversity. We love hearing how Toledo becomes a safe, loving and comforting community for people displaced from their own homes. Immigrant Heritage Month stories are in partnership with Welcome Toledo-Lucas County, a local initiative housed in the Board of Lucas County Commissioners in partnership with LISC Toledo to advance an inclusive and global community.