SEPANG - Two Syrian hairstylists working here can finally heave a sigh of relief as they welcome their family members seeking refuge here.
Mohamed Ibrahim, 29, and Ali Abdul Naser, 30, have been in Malaysia since 2012.
Mohamed said he was grateful that his parents, brother and sister were safe in Malaysia now.
"Our house was destroyed in the war.
"I was worried something might happen to my family if they remained in Idlib city," he said at the KL International Airport yesterday.
As for Ali, he said the war broke out in his country when he was working in Malaysia.
"At least we are all safe now. We can look forward to rebuilding our lives here," he said.
"I consider Malaysia as my second home."
However, he hoped they could go home once there was peace in his homeland.
The two families were the first group of Syrian refugees who arrived here yesterday.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the families flew in from Istanbul.
"Mohamed and Ali, who are already working here, applied through the Home Ministry for their families to be brought to Malaysia," he said.
The move to bring Syrians here was part of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's promise to help 3,000 Syrian refugees.
However, he said they would be vetted before they were allowed to come here.
"We have to be sure that they do not pose a threat to Malaysia."
Najib said Syrians currently working in Malaysia could act as guarantors for their family members and take care of their housing needs.
"The eight who flew in here will be considered migrants for the time being," he added.