Before they ever met in person, Avery Mills and Omar Albakkur were planning to get married. The big shocker here is that after they got married and Avery returned home, she was planning to come right back and live with Omar in Syria while he finishes school and they work to get him a spousal Visa.
Avery, a 19-year-old recent Muslim convert knew that getting her fiance out of Syria and over to the U.S. legally would be a herculean effort since the wartorn country has been on a travel ban to the U.S. for quite some time now. She’s even admitted on 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days that securing permission to move Omar to Ohio, where she lives, could take years.
Naturally, those watching the TLC series felt some kind of way about Avery’s seemingly flippant decision to just move to Omar. Many think she’s lost her mind. Others have blamed Avery’s willingness to live in Syria on her immaturity.
I know there's a war in Syria, people are dying, bombs are being dropped but Omar does Syria have Makeup… Seriously wtf Avery Syria is not safe and you're worried about your fucking eye shadow. #90dayfiance#90dayfiancebefore90days pic.twitter.com/XxqMIzaVxW
— M.X. Ward (@CheeseGenie84) September 2, 2019
— Ray E Flores (@RayEFlores80) September 2, 2019
Maybe living in Syria will be a reality check for Avery and she will take herself home and grow up.
No power and no water day in and day out and bombs going off? She’ll never make it.#90DayFiance
— Bullies and Tattoos (@BulliesTattoos) September 2, 2019
Now, Omar is weighing in on Syria and what it’s really like living where he does. He also defends Avery to those who keep calling her immature.
“Syria is such a beautiful country,” Omar begins. “It has power. It has electricity…water. And don’t believe that everything said on the TV. Avery is [a] mature girl and I love her.”
It sounds like Omar is fed up with viewers’ constant criticism of Avery and is finally setting things straight. And since his announcement that Syria is beautiful and Avery is mature was short on any sort of supporting argument, we decided to do a bit of research on the actual level of danger in Omar’s home country.
Syria has been dealing with a deadly civil war since 2011 with multiple sides fighting for power. Back in April, CNN reported that an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been casualties of war during that time. In a country with a population of just over 18 million people, that’s a lot of people to lose in war.
Not only that but a reported 5 million Syrians have fled the country and many more that still live inside the borders are in desperate need of assistance.
Travel to and from Syria was banned by the U.S. on Friday, January 27, 2017, with Executive Order 13769, which prohibited travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. There is no indication of if or when that ban may be lifted but it has been reported that traveling to Syria has become easier in the last year.
With all of this in mind, there are reports claiming that many parts of Syria really are safe or at least as safe as other major cities worldwide. The travel blog, Against The Compass, goes into detail about how to travel to Syria and what obstacles may pop up. Thankfully, safety is discussed and the author, Joan Torres, explains that the Syrian civil war is actually winding down. She says major cities like Aleppo and Damascus are “perfectly safe” and compares the crime levels and safety concerns to that of any other major city.
Does that mean Avery will be safe with Omar in Syria? There’s really no way to know until she goes there but even if he lives in a “safe” area, certainly many viewers would prefer that she wait for Omar from the safety of her own hometown.
90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days airs Sundays at 8/7c on TLC.