TORONTO – The waiting continues for those in Syria hoping the rest of the world will come to their aid.
"This is very disappointing," said 24-year-old Kenan Rahmani over Skype from Syria shortly after U.S. President Barack Obama announced Saturday that although he supports military action, he will wait for congressional approval. "Syrians have already been waiting for almost two and half years for help from NATO and this isn't fair. It hasn't become easier, but waiting has become part of daily life here, in some ways it's all we've been doing."
Waiting for the U.S. to take action is causing stress among his countrymen but there is optimism that things will get better in the near future, Rahmani said.
"There is still a lot of hope that this will end soon," he said. "I'm a little surprised how much hope there is. Everyone still thinks this is going to end soon."
Rahmani is in Northern Syria, near the Turkey boarder, where he said there are about 70,000 internally displaced persons living in tents and other makeshift homes.
"There are people living in slaughter houses, schools, abandoned shops, stadiums, basically any kind of shelter," he said.
As many as 60% of Syrians have been living without basic amenities such as garbage collection, utilities, easy-access to clean water, mail delivery and doctors for at least one year, he said. But government services, such as schools, have been shut down for up to two years.
For Syrians living in Canada with family and friends still there, waiting hasn't become any easier.
"It makes me cry," said Razan Hamad, who is a 34-year-old permanent resident in Canada who fled from Damascus two years ago.
"We had our hopes high and I've just lost more hope," said Hamad after hearing Obama's decision to wait. "Waiting is getting so much worse because now everyone is terrified. It doesn't feel like anywhere in Syria is safe."
She explained that the uncertainty of when, where or if the U.S. will strike, is creating more fear among Syrians because they are not sure how the regime of President Bashar al-Assad will react.
"I am so scared for my family and friends who are stuck there, and not knowing what is going to happen next is really awful," said Hamad. "I hope the U.S. can do something about it soon, because it is time."