Scenes from Syria may be movie material, but that doesn’t mean they’re not real.
In partnership with organisations Work For Good, Care4Calais and Refugee Support, our campaign imagines what a Hollywood movie would look like based on a true Syrian refugee’s story – to raise awareness that honest and accurate stories from the region must be told, before big film studios do so.
See their stories below and learn how you can help.
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In Syria, Mohamed and his older brother both volunteered with the White Helmets, a group who help in the aftermath of bomb explosions, rescuing people from the rubble. The last time Mohamed saw his brother was when they went to rescue people after a bombing.The plane that dropped the first bomb came back a second time and bombed the same site again. Mohamed’s brother was crushed to death.
As we watched the children play, Mohamed explained his decision to join the White Helmets rather than fight: “I had two choices and I had to decide one of them, so I decided I’d rather die than to kill… That’s why my eldest brother died and the second brother, that’s why he died and I thought maybe I’ll be the third one. But I could not kill.”
“My mother started crying a lot when I said I was going back (to volunteer for the White Helmets). She said ‘please don’t go back, I don’t want to lose another son.’ But she understood me. If we don’t help other people, who will come and help us?”
Noor, mother of four.
“I’m a both father and a mother to my children now. I am learning English. I study every day. If I am able to learn English, I hope to finish my studies and get a job. I want a future for my children. When traveling on foot with my four children over the mountains from Syria to Turkey, it took three or four days. It was hard because my youngest was very, very young and I had to carry her, and my bags. It was very difficult. The mountain was very difficult. It was raining, and we would fall down, get back up, fall down and get back up. I think that was physically the hardest part.”
“We got to the Macedonian border in March. We waited for a month, hoping it would re-open. We were sleeping in one small tent. It wasn’t like this camp here; it was just out in the open. There was no protection from the police like there is here. There was no support. I was scared to sleep at night in case one of my children would wake up needing the toilet and get lost, fall in the sea, or be snatched by a stranger. I was so scared there. At least this place offers protection and our basic needs. But I am scared of how they will cope this winter.”
Ahmad (listen below)
“The journey was very difficult. The boat from Turkey to Greece was crazy, it took 3 hours at 2:00 in the morning. But I had to travel because I wanted a good future. It is not enough just to eat, maybe I will have a wife and a son. I had to do it.”
“I had to choose to either die in Syria or make a future. I chose to make a future and they closed the border.”
“Life on the refugee camp is difficult. Winter is coming and it is very difficult in the tents. Volunteers coming to help is OK but it is not enough for me. We don’t want to be here, we want to go to Europe. We don’t have money. It is not good food. I have to wait 2 months for my interview and I can’t do anything. I learn some English with Google Translate, play some football but we are stuck here.”
“They have told me I can choose eight countries to go to but I would go anywhere. I would stay in Greece if I could go to university and a house. Maybe I could go to Ireland because I speak English. Or Holland where the universities are good and the people open-minded. And I can make my dream to be a doctor come true. And I want to return to Syria. It is my home, my friends, my family, my everything but who knows when I will go back. Maybe I won’t see my country again. Maybe I won’t see my mother again.”