NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News visited UMass Amherst on Thursday and spoke with foreign students to see if the recent mass shootings in America have changed the way the United States is perceived in the world.
Afnan Nehela of Egypt said, “I definitely see America as something great and something worth leaving my country and my region to come to.”
However, not everyone agrees. UMass student Alvin Buyinza of Uganda told 22News his mother came to the United States to escape violence. He said, “Now she is disappointed and scared that the violence that she wanted to escape from Uganda is now prevalent here in America.”
A mass shooting is defined as gun violence with four or more victims. There’s been at least 352 instances of that this year. Colorado Springs and San Bernadino are the most recent and publicized examples.
After the massacre in California, UMass student Kartik Misrad said his mother in India picked up the phone; “She knows that I am far removed from those places but she still called me to find out if I was okay.”
Not all mass shootings are foreign or domestic terrorism, but the FBI says San Bernadino shooter Syed Farook, an American born Pakistani, had ties to terrorists.
22News spoke to Omnie Elborgy of Egypt, a Muslim woman who says Islam is a religion of peace. She said, “It’s not from the religion at all. It’s from the sick people. With people all over the world there are some good people and some sick people and some terrorist and some kind people.”
Most of the foreign students we spoke with said they appreciate America for the opportunity it’s given them and their family, their just hoping something gets done about gun violence.