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Syrian Refugees in Uruguay Face an Uncertain Future

February 05, 2016

Uruguay's invitation in late 2014 sounded like a dream to the Alshebli family, who had been living in a cramped Lebanon apartment for more than a year since they fled Syria. Not only would all 17 Alsheblis receive asylum, they would also be given a spacious new home and two years of income assistance.

But it didn’t take long for a series of cultural and financial shocks to leave them feeling defeated. A year after arriving, family patriarch Merhi Alshebli was still unemployed, his children were struggling to integrate, and he felt trapped. During a meeting with officials to discuss...

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