Louisville Syrian-American remembers Assad in medical school - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Louisville Syrian-American remembers Assad in medical school

Posted: Updated:
Dr. Ammar Almasalkhi Dr. Ammar Almasalkhi
  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Healthy looking teens may still have anorexia

    Healthy looking teens may still have anorexia

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:14 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:14:08 GMT
    You've seen the images of what people typically look like who have anorexia, but a new study said the number of teens who have an eating disorder but look healthy has drastically increased in recent years.
    You've seen the images of what people typically look like who have anorexia, but a new study said the number of teens who have an eating disorder but look healthy has drastically increased in recent years.
  • SIUC to spend $30 million on maintenance

    SIUC to spend $30 million on maintenance

    Thursday, August 28 2014 12:05 AM EDT2014-08-28 04:05:38 GMT
    A photo of what the LED lamps will look like. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)A photo of what the LED lamps will look like. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
    Southern Illinois University Carbondale has began work on a $30 million deferred maintenance project that will include improvements to SIU campus.
    Southern Illinois University Carbondale has began work on a $30 million deferred maintenance project that will include improvements to SIU campus.
  • Tattoos encouraged at one Heartland church

    Tattoos encouraged at one Heartland church

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:13 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:13:12 GMT
    The Exchange Community likes to call itself “a church for people who don't like church.”
    The Exchange Community likes to call itself “a church for people who don't like church.”
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Syrian-American living in Louisville anxiously awaited President Barack Obama's speech Tuesday night as he worried about the safety of his family still living in Syria.

Decades ago, a local doctor remembered knowing a quiet, timid man in medical school.

Dr. Ammar Almasalkhi awaited reassurance from President Obama that action will be taken against that same medical student who's now accused of atrocities against civilians.

"I might not be able to ever go back to Syria," Almasalkhi said.  

The Louisville pulmonology physician, who was born and raised outside the capital of Damascus, visited Syria with his family in 2010 and hasn't been back since.  Almasalkhi still has aunts, uncles and cousins living in the war-torn country.  

"You come here with nightmares, flashbacks and things that might happen to your family that you see on the news," Almasalkhi  said.

It wasn't that long ago Almasalkhi encountered President Bashar al-Assad.  "He was a year younger than me and was in medical school. We didn't see signs of the dictatorship.  He was very low-key. He wasn't the one chosen to be president," Almasalkhi said.

However, Assad left medicine and rose to power in Syria where oppression and violence continues.

Almasalkhi said U.S. intervention is pivotal to preventing future massacres.  "No need for American boots on the grounds or casualties, there's plenty of brave Syrian willing to liberate their country."

Almasalkhi supports the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group NBC News reported the U.S. administration is betting on.  The group is considered moderate and seen as a force that can counter the growing influence of radical Islamic groups that have also rebelled against Assad's regime.

"I hope President Obama will have a long-term vision, strategic approach to finish the dictatorship rule in Syria and protect the civilians at-large," Almasalkhi said.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.
Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.