Syrian refugee family resettled in Indiana to tell their story Thursday at Indiana Center for Middle East Peace program

Plymouth Congregational Church (News-Sentinel file photo)

The Mohammed Al-Hamwi family, who were among the Syrian refugee families former Gov. Mike Pence tried to prevent from being settled in Indiana, will discuss their family’s life in Syria and the United States during an Indiana Center for Middle East Peace program at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Plymouth Congregational Church UCC, 501 W. Berry St.

Admission is free.

People also are invited to arrive by 6 p.m. to hear students in the Arabic I class at IPFW make 2- to 3-minute presentations in Arabic. The class requires students to make a brief public talk in Arabic.

The Al-Hamwi family owned and operated a successful handbag-making business in Syria before the war there led the family to flee to a refugee camp, an event news release said. From there, some members of the family came to the United States as refugees, and the Presbyterian Church USA helped resettle them in Indianapolis.

The family includes a father, mother, son, three daughters and grandmother, the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace said on its website,

Then-Governor Pence, who since became U.S. vice president, tried in late 2015 to prevent Syrian refugees from being settled in Indiana, saying they would create a safety risk because terrorists were trying to get into the United States by posing as refugees. A federal appeals court ruled against Pence’s approach in October 2016.