President's travel ban sparks fear for employees of New Haven restaurant


As marchers and protesters continue to gather at airports, the employees of a popular New Haven restaurant said they were moved by the outpouring of support.

Mamoun's falafel restaurant was started by a Syrian immigrant, which is one of the seven counties impacted by President Donald Trump's ban. Suleiman Chater manages Mamoun's on Howe Street.

Fans come to Mamoun's 365 days a year for the middle eastern fare, but Trump's executive order has left a bad taste in the mouths of Chater and others.

"People are afraid, they don't know what to expect,” Chater said.

Chater came to America from Syria back in 1979. His wife's mother still lives in there. With president's travel ban targeting seven Muslim countries, the concern was she'll no longer be able to visit.

"It used to be regular there was no, people were people, it’s not like you're from a terrorist country, which it is not,” Chater said. “I guess if you put fear in enough people, people will believe it."

Sipping coffee at nearby table, Khaled Jamoor arrived from Syria just last month.

"I was a doctor in Syria and I'm planning on completing my medical training here in the states,” Jamoor said.

In order to do so, the 25-year-old left his family behind.

"It’s like a disaster back there,” Jamoor said. “They have no electricity and recently they have no water and its really scary."

If the executive order stays and the travel ban remains, Jamoor said it puts him a difficult spot.

"I don't want to lose my future. I want to complete my medical training here and I don't want to lose my family,” Jamoor said. “I want to see them often."

While the president argues it’s a safety issue, legal challenges were filed over the weekend. Both Jamoor and Chater said they are encouraged by all the support from the protests to the airport rallies.

"As we Americans stick together and do the right thing to help out the unfortunate ones, I thought that was awesome,” Chater said.

In addition to the legal challenges, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said he'll be asking U.S. senate leaders on a vote to repeal the immigration ban.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Recommended for you