My Besieged Homs

Syria’s Future Identity is Being Defined Where I Discovered Mine

I first visited Homs, Syria as a teenager. Until then, having grown up in a small homogenous town in northern Michigan, I had little contact with the Arab side of my identity. My father came to the United States from Homs as a medical resident in 1962. He traveled by passenger ship for 11 days from Naples to conduct his residency during a period when the U.S. was recruiting third-world doctors to fill delivery gaps in rural and underprivileged parts of the country.

The story of my grandfather’s ambivalence about his …