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Humans of New York photos tell stories of refugees headed to Michigan

Dec 9, 2015

"We learned recently that we will be moving to a state called Michigan," the photo's caption reads. "My nephew is there and he says it’s like heaven."

Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton recently visited Jordan and Turkey to talk to Syrian families who will be resettling in the U.S. The first story he posted to his Facebook page just happened to be that of a couple who will be moving to Michigan soon.

“Ever since we had our first child, I stopped watching the TV. Everyday I used to watch the news and obsess over what was happening back in Syria. But once we had children, I had to realize that I couldn’t change anything, and the worrying wasn’t helping my family. We learned recently that we will be moving to a state called Michigan. I’m a pessimist, so I’m not going to believe it until we are on the plane. But my nephew is there and he says it’s like heaven. He says it’s very green and has nice nature. When we get to Michigan, I’m not going to turn on the television again. I’m done with religion and politics forever. I only want to worry about milk and diapers.” (Amman, Jordan)

On our Facebook page Donda Walke wrote that the post made her "so proud to live in Michigan."

Humans of New York has since posted more stories of future Michigan residents, including one of a Syrian researcher moving to Troy.

“I still think I have a chance to make a difference in the world. I have several inventions that I’m hoping to patent once I get to America. One of my inventions is being used right now on the Istanbul metro to generate electricity from the movement of the train. I have sketches for a plane that can fly for 48 hours without fuel. I’ve been thinking about a device that can predict earthquakes weeks before they happen. I just want a place to do my research. I learned today that I’m going to Troy, Michigan. I know nothing about it. I just hope that it’s safe and that it’s a place where they respect science. I just want to get back to work. I want to be a person again. I don’t want the world to think I’m over. I’m still here.” (Istanbul, Turkey)

Governor Rick Snyder called for a "pause" on refugee resettlement in Michigan after the terrorist attacks in Paris. He has since clarified that it's not a total halt.