Sneed exclusive: Pols to host Thanksgiving for Syrian refugees

SHARE Sneed exclusive: Pols to host Thanksgiving for Syrian refugees

Ald. Ed Burke, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other political leaders will host a Thanksgiving Dinner for Syrian refugees. | Sun-Times files

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The Syrian story . . . 

Sneed has learned Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a handful of Chicago aldermen including Ed Burke (14th), Danny Solis (25th) and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) are hosting a special Thanksgiving dinner paid for out of their own pockets.

It’s for 17 new refugee families fleeing the horror of war in Syria.

“We want to welcome them to Chicago with gratitude and to give thanks they are here,” said an aldermanic source.

“It’s a nightmare what some of these people have gone through.”

Among the 70-plus refugees, nearly half of whom are children, three families are now living in the suburbs and 13 families living in Chicago.

These people fled a civil war; most have schrapnel lodged in their bodies.

They include:

  • A 31-year-old man now awaiting a heart transplant, who applied for refugee status because of an emergency health condition. He is here without his family. He came alone. He is still alone. “Can you imagine going through this without anyone close to you?” said Suzanne Sahloul, founder and president of Syrian Community Network.
  • A man who was tortured and imprisoned in Syria for a year. “We just found out about him,” said Sahloul. “It was a surprise.”
  • A family who just had their home vandalized. Targeted? Bad luck? Sneed hears all their documents were taken along with a computer, jewelry and paperwork.

These people are not here on tourist visas.

They are not here on student visas.

They are not people listed as asylum seekers. They were processed by the United Nations Council, Human Rights Council and OK’d by the U.S. State Department.

They didn’t just appear on our border. They went through an incredibly long vetting process. They are not here on a whim.

 Among the charitable and non-governmental organizations dealing with these refugees, four families have been assigned to Catholic charities; four other families assigned to a program called Refugee One.

Sneed is told the site for the Thanksgiving dinner is still pending.

Stay tuned.


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Hair scare . . . 

Donald Trump’s hair keeps bobbing up in the news: In an attempt to mock  Republican rival Marco Rubio, whom he calls a lightweight, Trump trumpets his own tresses: “My hair is better than his hair, that I can tell you.”

  • Trump told Sneed in an earlier interview he just might slick his mane back off his forehead if he were elected commander-in-chief.

Hearst update . . . 

How time flies: Former Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapee Patricia Hearst, the publishing heiress who made headlines back in 1974 when accompanying the SLA as a gun-toting bank robber, was last spotted prepping her French Bulldog’s appearance for Philadelphia’s upcoming National Dog Show.

Is Paris burning?

Who wouldda thunk it. Writer Ernest Hemingway’s old memoir about his time living in 1920s Paris titled “A Moveable Feast”  has become a best seller in Paris again. Copies of it are being placed among the flowers at the site of the massacres in Paris. Who knew?

A final statement . . . 

       It’s been reported Hasna Ait Boulahcen, 26, who has become infamous as Europe’s first female suicide bomber after detonating her vest during the terrorist raid in Paris last week, was killed shortly after screaming for help and being asked by police: “Where is your boyfriend?”

Jihadist female or not, how would you like the last words you utter in life to be:

“He is not my boyfriend!”

Just asking.

Celeb chat . . . 

Actor Harry Hamlin, who once made headlines with his romance with movie siren Ursula Andress and is long time married to actress Lisa Rinna, hit town recently to attend the wedding of his nephew, J.P. Guilbault, to his long-time love, Kate Hammond at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Word is Hamlin was tearing up a rug dancing at the University Club reception.

Sneedlings . . .

Saturday’s birthdays: Ken Griffey Jr., 46; Goldie Hawn, 70, and Dick Durbin, 71 . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Jamie Lee Curtis, 57; James Edwards, 60, and Robert Vaughn, 83.

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