Living in Exile: Young Iraqi refugees in Syria
Tuesday 23 June 2009
In the summer of 2008 New Exposure, with the support of the UNHCR, worked with a group of young Iraqis who sought refuge in Damascus. British photographers Tom Saunderson and Tim Smyth spent one month teaching them the basics of photography and talking about their lives as refugees. The work they produced provides an original and highly personal glimpse into the hopes and fears of ordinary Iraqi people in the wake of the violence which has torn their country apart.
We are showcasing photographs by the students. Click on the image (right) to see the photographs taken by Ali, Saja, Ahmed, Fares, Mais and Amir.
The plight of Iraqi refugees has been largely neglected. More than 1.5 million Iraqis are outside their homeland and a similar number are living as internally displaced persons.
Most Iraqi refugees in Syria fled their homeland following the bombing of Samarra’s Golden Mosque in February 2006, an attack that provoked unprecedented levels of sectarian violence marked by killings, kidnappings and other acts that terrorised civilian populations.
Since fleeing, many Iraqis have found themselves in an increasingly fragile position. Many have suffered great trauma at home and struggle to cope in a foreign country. Formal employment is not permitted and their savings are depleted. Many refugees depend on the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) for vital assistance, healthcare and schooling.
Voluntary repatriation to Iraq is the only practical solution for most Iraqi refugees but is dependent on the restoration of stability and rule of law. UNHCR is working to resettle the most traumatised and vulnerable refugees to third countries like the UK, but the need for resettlement is much greater than the available places. Until a solution can be found, most of Syria's Iraqi exiles must continue to survive using their dwindling resources and UNHCR’s humanitarian support. But UNHCR’s £181 million Iraq operation is less than half funded and certain programmes may never be implemented unless more money is received soon.
New Exposure documents under-reported or misrepresented issues by working with the people who live at the heart of those issues. The organisation equips them with cameras and encourages them to document their lives through photography so they are able to capture their experiences and tell their story in a way only they can.
UNHCR provides protection and assistance for refugees, returnees and many internally displaced persons all over the world. One of the world’s leading humanitarian agencies, UNHCR is almost entirely funded by voluntary contributions
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence's own witness contradicts athlete's version of events
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
South Korea ferry: Captain could face criminal investigation as warrant is sought
Peaches Geldof dead: Private funeral for the family and friends of the socialite will take place next week
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...