Louisville Syrian-American remembers Assad in medical school - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Louisville Syrian-American remembers Assad in medical school

Dr. Ammar Almasalkhi Dr. Ammar Almasalkhi
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.
  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Sunrise Kitchen: Bronzed Red Fish with Crawfish Etouffee

    Sunrise Kitchen: Bronzed Red Fish with Crawfish Etouffee

    Friday, February 23 2018 8:25 AM EST2018-02-23 13:25:29 GMT

    Sowela Chef Roy Angelle and his students, Torrie Maturin and Savannah Deskin, share a recipe for Bronzed Red Fish with Crawfish Etouffee. Bronzed Red Fish Ingredients: Two 8 oz. Red Fish filets Blackening season 1 heaping tablespoon paprika 2 teaspoons salt 1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder 1 heaping teaspoon onion powder 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons black pepper 1/2 teaspoon drie...

    More >>

    Sowela Chef Roy Angelle and his students, Torrie Maturin and Savannah Deskin, share a recipe for Bronzed Red Fish with Crawfish Etouffee. Bronzed Red Fish Ingredients: Two 8 oz. Red Fish filets Blackening season 1 heaping tablespoon paprika 2 teaspoons salt 1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder 1 heaping teaspoon onion powder 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons black pepper 1/2 teaspoon drie...

    More >>
  • Man arrested after jumping on stage at church to yell about pizza rolls, ice cream and movies

    Man arrested after jumping on stage at church to yell about pizza rolls, ice cream and movies

    Thursday, February 22 2018 10:12 PM EST2018-02-23 03:12:02 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    A man went to The Gathering church in Sulphur Sunday, walked on stage and started talking about pizza rolls, ice cream and watching a movie.  Luckily security jumped in before anything more could happen.  When two men came into The Gathering during service Sunday, senior pastor Casey Rader knew something just wasn't right.   "They were walking with a purpose, and I noticed they kept coming closer to the stage," said Rader.  One of them actually m...

    More >>

    A man went to The Gathering church in Sulphur Sunday, walked on stage and started talking about pizza rolls, ice cream and watching a movie.  Luckily security jumped in before anything more could happen.  When two men came into The Gathering during service Sunday, senior pastor Casey Rader knew something just wasn't right.   "They were walking with a purpose, and I noticed they kept coming closer to the stage," said Rader.  One of them actually m...

    More >>
  • LSU Greek Life task force makes recommendations, 4 months after hazing death of LSU student

    LSU Greek Life task force makes recommendations, 4 months after hazing death of LSU student

    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:40 PM EST2018-02-23 02:40:36 GMT
    (Source: LSU Daily Reveille)(Source: LSU Daily Reveille)
    (Source: LSU Daily Reveille)(Source: LSU Daily Reveille)

    After four months of deliberations following the hazing death of a pledge, LSU’s task force on Greek Life presented 28 recommendations for overseeing fraternities and sororities, including an amnesty policy and moving Greek tailgating to chapter houses. LSU President F. King Alexander plans in March to bring the recommendations to a meeting of presidents of other universities. He said a number of universities plan to adopt similar policies. However, the family of Maxwell Gruve...

    More >>

    After four months of deliberations following the hazing death of a pledge, LSU’s task force on Greek Life presented 28 recommendations for overseeing fraternities and sororities, including an amnesty policy and moving Greek tailgating to chapter houses. LSU President F. King Alexander plans in March to bring the recommendations to a meeting of presidents of other universities. He said a number of universities plan to adopt similar policies. However, the family of Maxwell Gruve...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly