Refugee and migrants often face staggering challenges and risks when fleeing contexts of conflict, persecution or poverty. Some of them agreed to share their experience with us, telling us stories of hardship, but also of gratitude and hope for a better future.
Mafraq, 14 June 2017 - The inevitable bickering starts amongst her family when Loulia, 9, and her 7-year-old sister Lamar begin playing with their fidget spinners – one of the most loved toys among children across the world. Loulia’s toy was spinning on her finger in no time, while Lamar just couldn’t seem to get the hang of it. Meanwhile, in the back room, Teta (Grandma) is spinning circles around both of her grandchildren.
Mafraq, 14 June 2017 - Watching a group of children playing in a tree with swings and ropes, one could be forgiven for thinking this scene was nothing out of the ordinary. As the children are called by their mother, the playing and the laughing come to a crashing halt. Seven-year-old Syrian refugee Fatimah runs through a clearing in the trees to the tent that she calls home to get her breakfast. Moments later the climbing and the scrambling continues.
Mafraq, 14 June 2017 - “Meen Heluweh?” (who’s the sweetest?) a young mother says to her toddler, leaning over to braid her tufty hair. There is a strong sense of community where 10-year-old best friends, Mustafa and Mohammad, live as neighbors in Mafraq, Jordan. The courtyard where they are playing radiates high energy.
Mafraq, 14 June 2017 - Standing in line to take a final bow with a group of friends, Laith clearly has no difficulty performing in front of an audience. Largely improvising, the 16-year-old Syrian refugee confidently delivers the final monologue in the closing scene of a play about mental health. Now out of character, applause fills the community center. The lively group of actors begin to make over-dramatic acting gestures in front of their friends and family, bringing some comic relief to the room.