For A U.S. Hostage Facing Death, Syria Meant A New Life – by Alison Meuse I met Abdul-Rahman Kassig in Beirut in the summer of 2012, when the young American was still known as Peter. Yet the Arabic name he would soon choose for himself certainly seemed fitting — Abdul-Rahman alludes to the mercy of God, and Peter wanted so much to ease the suffering he saw in Syria. Kassig first volunteered in the poor Palestinian camps of Lebanon, which are now also hosting thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled their homeland since war erupted there in 2011.


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