Seated at his desk at a suburban San Diego middle school, 12-year-old Abdulhamid Ashehneh tries not to let his mind wander to the painful memories of his life in civil war-torn Syria.
His father disappeared suddenly four years ago and, the family believes, was killed. Months later, Abdulhamid's mother boarded a bus with her six children, the youngest 2, and fled to Jordan, the sound of bombs ringing in the distance.
"I think about my Dad a lot," Abdulhamid said recently after practicing English at Cajon Valley Middle School, which has received an influx of Syrian children. "I wish he would come back."
Abdulhamid is like many of the Syrian refugees arriving today in the U.S. Nearly 60 percent of the more than 11,000 Syrian arrivals over the past year were children, according to the U.S. State Department.