Only days after Mayor Peduto joined other cities in urging Obama to increase the number of accepted refugees from Syria and send some his way, the plan appears to be in jeopardy. The Mayor was concerned some Pittsburghers might not be welcoming of the families displaced by war, but it didn’t even get that far.
“The first arrivals took a quick look around and decided to go back home.”
It was explained to them that refusing the chance to move to Pittsburgh meant they were giving up their only opportunity to be resettled, but they were well aware of this.
“I was desperate to leave before, but now I’ve seen the poorer areas of Pittsburgh in which I am likely to be settled and the lack of commitment to national infrastructure that is tolerated in this country, home no longer seems so bad. Also I need to be somewhere I can get a decent cup of coffee or I can’t start my day.”
They emphasized their decision was not motivated by the outpouring of hostile sentiment following the Mayor’s announcement. Ironically, some of the most vocal opponents quickly changed their tune once they heard the refugees were not interested in settling here.
“Yinz get dem refugees back here rawt nah. Wezar gonna haus dem, cook ’em up some progies an’at, and take them to see dem Stillers an’ a Pirates post season game so they’ll know how great Da Burgh is. Just like we did with Sienna Miller.”
The refugees were touched by the abrupt change of heart and tried to let them down gently, explaining that one of their elderly relatives was unfit to travel and they didn’t want to abandon her.
“Yes, I made it up as a kindness. But at least in my hometown of Homs I can easily hail a cab to get around the rubble strewn streets. And your potholes – we have far fewer even though we’re being pounded by artillery shells every day!“
They also had reservations about the weather.
“How do you stand it? You are welcome to come and stay at my house – or what’s left of it – whenever it gets to be too much.”
This is not the first instance of its kind, as a group of refugees who were relocated to downtown Detroit soon found themselves trying to get back to the Middle East any way they could.
“Holy shit, man – was ISIS laying waste to Michigan’s largest city all this time and I completely missed it on the news? I only pray Syria never gets this bad.”