By Nova Safo, CNN
(CNN) – Noura Almasri, 34, had not expected to be working to aid Syrian refugees.
A little more than year ago, she had a job in corporate finance and rarely paid attention to the news. But in March, 2011, Syrians began to protest against their dictator Bashar Al-Assad, and he responded with brutal force.
Almasri, along with others in her Syrian-American community in Chicago, watched with alarm.
Over the last year and a half, they have begun to act. Almasri quit her job, and now works to aid Syrians and to offer a public voice of support for Syrian rebels.
[6:10] “I see the future as a bright future. We can rebuild our country. But we just have to get rid of Assad first.”
That’s a sentiment shared by many other Syrians, including Ahmad Faour, 22, who said he was a medical student in Syria just four months ago.
Now, far away from the violence, he wants to raise awareness about the horrors he left behind.
[5:33] “At first we expected Assad would step down in the first month. We didn’t expect the violence to happen actually. At first he got his security forces and intelligence. Then he got his army sources. No one was doing anything. No one was doing anything to help the Syrian people with getting their freedom.”
Syrian-Americans supporting the rebels say it is only a matter of time before Assad’s regime is toppled. But they want to world community to help quicken his downfall.
The conflict has left 29,000 Syrians dead, according to opposition groups.
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