Syrian soprano Lubana Al Quntar, who was granted asylum in the U.S., sings with the Refugee Orchestra Project on World Refugee Day at Brooklyn's First Unitarian Congregational Society, June 20, in New York.AFP/Don Emmert
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Performing Puccini to a rapt New York audience, her soprano voice soaring to the rafters, Lubana al-Quntar may be the last person most Americans would think to be a Syrian refugee.Just days after the billionaire presidential candidate repeated his call to stop Syrian refugees entering America, Quntar had the audience spellbound even if many of the church pews were empty.Accompanied by an orchestra of refugee American musicians, she sang the aria "Sola, perduta, abbandonata" from the opera "Manon Lescaut," followed by a haunting Syrian song called "Ya Ghazali". For its part, America is in the throes of a toxic debate about immigration in general and Syrian refugees in particular, with Trump and other Republicans calling for the halt of immigration from countries with links to terror attacks targeting the U.S. or its allies.The United States has accepted just over 6,300 Syrian refugees since 2011, far fewer than Europe.
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