Heartland couple hopes for word from relatives in Syria - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland couple hopes for word from relatives in Syria


As violence in Syria continues, Heartland couple waits for word from family near Homs, an area under siege.

Southern Illinois University student Razan Toumani and her husband have been unable to reach their family members in Syria for two weeks now.

"I am afraid for my family, afraid for the people of Syria in general," Toumani said.

Toumani says as days pass with no word from her family, nothing but bad news coming out of her country, and images of mortar fire hitting her hometown on TV, she just wants the violence to stop.

"When this revolution started, I had big dreams," said Toumani. "I had hoped for a lot of changes. For now, my priorities have changed."

The events in Syria have turned what Toumani says was a very peaceful place into a nation on the brink of civil war. Over the past year, the Syrian regime's crackdown on anti-government protesters is estimated to have killed well over 5,400 people and Toumani says to think of her family back home is beyond heartbreaking for her.

"When I think I have food now and my family doesn't, I feel guilty. When I feel that I am warm and they're not, I feel guilty. I feel guilty because I still live in my house, I have a house. I can go out for work or studying. They can't. It's very hard."

Toumani and her husband last visited Syria over the summer. She's hopeful peace will return to her country soon - so she can be reunited with her family next summer - on a trip she's still hoping to be able to take.

"I always say there's room for hope even among all this violence and darkness," said Toumani.

The U.N. General Assembly has overwhelmingly passed a resolution backing an Arab League plan calling for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down and strongly condemning human rights violations by his regime.

The Syrian government says it is fighting "armed terrorist gangs" who are undermining the country's security.

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