War ravages Syria for a fourth year. People are forced to flee the country at an estimated rate of three people escaping Syria every minute. At this rate, the newly opened Azraq refugee camp is expected to reach capacity quickly . Azraq opened two weeks ago after the Za’atari camp was full. An estimated 100,000 people live in Za’atari.
Neil Gaiman visited the camp with UNHCR to spend time with Syrian refugees as they checked in and got established. Along with Georgina Chapman, Neil is gathering stories, photos and video for a project designed to
“build a bridge of empathy and understanding between refugee and non-refugee communities”. Neil & Georgina’s Journey, donate.unhcr.org/neilandgeorgina
You can find more information on the UNHRC site and listen to Neil Gaiman’s interview with BBC World Service Radio.
Neil’s wife, Amanda Palmer, shared the link to the interview on Facebook, and Neil shared the link to a BuzzFeed article. In his post, he explained that, in his picture, his eyes were red and puffy from crying. He’d just finished meeting an 11-year-old girl who lost her jaw in a mortar attack.
My heart aches for all of them. While many of us “know” the refugees are escaping because it has become unbearable, it is hard to truly understand what unbearable means. Listening to Gaiman tell the stories of a family he met brought the situation for these people into clearer focus for me. My heart aches.
‘Til next time,