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Global Refugee Crisis: The Worst Sinc...
Beirut
By b.yaacoub
11 Jun 2015

June 20 is World Refugee Day.

In 2014, global refugee numbers were higher than they have ever been since World War II. In 2015, the problem has only gotten worse.

There are currently over 50 million refugees in the world and more than %50 of them are children. Approximately half of the world's refugees are from just three countries: Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia.

The response to this massive international crisis has been limited, with most refugee aid programs desperately underfunded. Amnesty International has called the lack of robust international response "A Conspiracy of Neglect." With little help on the way, the future of the world's displaced remains uncertain.

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Syrian Refugee Stories: Hussein
Berlin,Germany
By luigi serenelli
10 Mar 2015

Hussein, a 27 year-old from Aleppo, considers Germany the right place in Europe to fulfill his career as an IT engineer while his home country, Syria, enters the fifth year of an unending civil war.

“I came to Germany to complete and advance my studies to become an engineer,” said Hussein. “I don’t know exactly how many years of my previous study institutions here will officially recognize. Maybe they will put me in the first year, but I am ready to re-start from the first year at university if that should be the case.”

Hussein arrived in Berlin on March 6th via Turkey and Greece. The civil war in Syria forced him to withdraw from a five-years course in IT engineering at the university in Aleppo.

“I had a diploma as a computer technician, then I decided to upgrade my certificate by attending engineering courses. I studied for two years in an institute for the diploma and then four years at a university,” Hussein said.

Back in Syria, Hussein’s livelihood was decent, but his wage of around 250 euros didn’t secure him economic independence.

“I had my own house that my parents gave to me, but I didn’t live there, and I had my own car, but they were both destroyed,” he said.

In Aleppo, Hussein taught computer science in a school to students from 6th to 11th grade. Meanwhile, he had a second job.

“I was a swim instructor. I used to go directly to the swimming pool when I finished work at the school, and also I worked as a lifeguard. I was in a good situation before the war.”

Many other skilled Syrians take the decision to start anew a life in Europe. On the continent, Germany’s powerful mix of stable economy and welfare state catches hearts and minds of young, talented asylum seekers from Syria. 

“There is life in Germany, more than other Scandinavian countries such as Sweden or Denmark,” Hussein believes. “Berlin is the best city in Europe for everything. The university is very good here in Germany. Most people are helpful towards new people coming.”

The number of refugees arriving in Berlin from war-torn Syria spiked last year. According to LAGeSo – Landesamtes für Gesundheit und Soziales - the operative branch of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of the State of Berlin - in 2013 only 695 Syrians applied to start the asylum procedure in the German capital. In 2014, that number jumped to 2.518. The German Federal migration office recorded 5.340 new asylum requests from Syrians since last January, which in the same month of 2014 numbered only 1.637, a 224 per cent increase.

Syrians coming to Europe try to circumvent the Dublin regulation – imposing asylum seekers to stay in the first country of arrival in Europe – by asking to register as asylum seekers either in Berlin or Stuttgart, southern Germany. Both cities have decided to issue residence permits even if refugees had registered somewhere else in Europe.

“All Syrians, when they come from Turkey to Austria or Germany, should pass through Hungary or Italy; and the police maybe catches them and takes the fingerprints,” Hussein said. “For that, all people are coming here and you can see too many people. I came via Turkey, Greece and then I took a flight to Germany.”

Hussein’s family is now scattered in the Middle East: His father is in Lebanon, his mother is still in Syria. “I am in contact with my parents every day via internet,” he said. “In Germany, I have my friends from Syria and two cousins who are German nationals.”

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Syrian Stories: Hussein 01
Berlin, Germany
By luigi serenelli
10 Mar 2015

Hussein, 27, poses for sits in front of LAGeSo – Landesamtes für Gesundheit und Soziales - the operative branch of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of the State of Berlin - where he awaits his turn to ask for a residence permit.

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Syrian Stories: Hussein 02
Berlin, Germany
By luigi serenelli
09 Mar 2015

Hussein, 27, poses for sits in front of LAGeSo – Landesamtes für Gesundheit und Soziales - the operative branch of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of the State of Berlin - where he awaits his turn to ask for a residence permit.

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Syrian Stories: Hussein 03
Berlin, Germany
By luigi serenelli
09 Mar 2015

Hussein, 27, poses for sits in front of LAGeSo – Landesamtes für Gesundheit und Soziales - the operative branch of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of the State of Berlin - where he awaits his turn to ask for a residence permit.

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Invisible People: Athens' 'Stuck' Ref...
Athens, Greece
By angelos
15 Feb 2015

First of a trilogy of feature documentary films in progress that observes the lives of undocumented refugees from Syria, Palestine and Iraq trapped in Greece on their way to Austria, Sweden and Belgium. Invisible People is an intimate look into their lives in a neighborhood of Athens as they try to make their way to the “European dream.”

The first part of the documentary trilogy Invisible People portrays undocumented immigrants in the claustrophobic urban environment of Athens as they wait for months for human traffickers to smuggle them out. Set in one of the most multicultural Athenian streets, where Golden Dawn Nazi party has its headquarters, the camera continuously records their fears and dreams as they repeatedly attempt to leave the country. Abandoned by the system, their only hope is a network of human traffickers that spans from the Middle East all the way to Central and Northern Europe.

BROADCAST READY FILM AVAILABLE AND EDITED TO YOUR LENGTH AND FORMAT ON REQUEST

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School for refugee children in Qaa
Qaa (Lebanon-Syrian border) Bekaa Valley
By Ferran Quevedo
11 Jul 2014

The school for refugee children in Qaa (Lebanese-Syrian border) was the first school to receive Syrian children at the beginning of the conflict. Due to the dedication of Father Elyen Nasrallah, priest of the Greek Catholic Parish Church of Qaa and the support of international organizations such as L'Oeuvre d'Orient and L'IECD (Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement), more than 250 children aged from 3 to 12 years living in tents on "no-man’s land" between the Syrian and Lebanese frontier posts, known as Mashari El Qaa, can receive primary education and participate in several activities such as the Christmas party, mother's day, etc.. They arrived fleeing the battles from northern Syria, and many have lost some of their relatives.

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Bangladesh 'at Risk' due to Climate C...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
28 Jun 2014

Rising global temperatures have been accompanied by changes in weather and climate, and many places have seen changes in rainfall, resulting in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves. Climate change is now one of the greatest threats facing the planet.

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries, as the lives and livelihoods of millions of Bangladeshis are challenged due to climate change. A study by UK researcher Maplecroft cites Bangladesh at the top of a list of 32 nations at risk due to the alarming effects of climate change.

Low lying coastal areas are speculated to be submerged as the sea level rises, and as world temperature continues to go up. Two recent cyclones, Sidr (2007) and Aila (2009) totally devastated the coastal territories of Satkhira and Barguna along with many others in Bangladesh.

Hundreds if not thousands of people have lost their land and their homes to erosion along riverbanks and coastal areas. Bangladesh is one of the countries in the world with the highest proportion of the population living in coastal areas. Some 32% of the habitable land lies in coastal areas, equivalent to 47,211 square kilometers. According to the population census in 2001, about 35 million people, or 28% of the total population, live in these low-lying coastal areas.

Another cause for alarm that exacerbates the effects of climate change on the population in Bangladesh is pollution. By throwing waste chemicals and oil from factories into canals and rivers, soil and groundwater become polluted. Industrial processes are not only a factor in climate change, but also produce toxic waste that threatens Dhaka's natural resources.

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Life In The Graves - La Vie Dans Les ...
Shanshrah, Idlib Province, Syria
By Marie
13 Apr 2013

Entry of a graveyard occupied by a refugee family on the Shansharah archeological site, Idlib region. It has been one year since hundreds of displaced people have taken shelter in the ruins of these famous « dead cities » in the North-West. Far away from the surrounding cities, they are less exposed to the Syrian army air strikes.

Entrée d'un tombeau occupé par une famille réfugiée sur le site archéologique de Shansharah dans la région d'Idleb. Depuis un an des centaines de déplacés trouvent refuge dans les ruines des célèbres « villes mortes » du nord-ouest du pays. Eloignées des villes alentours, elles sont moins ciblées par les attaques aériennes de l'armée syrienne. Ici vit une famille de six personnes. La chambre funéraire est devenue leur lieu de vie.

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Life In The Graves - La Vie Dans Les ...
Shanshrah, Idlib province, Syria
By Marie
13 Apr 2013

Entry of a graveyard occupied by a refugee family on the Shansharah archeological site, Idlib region. It has been one year since hundreds of displaced people have taken shelter in the ruins of these famous « dead cities » in the North-West. Far away from the surrounding cities, they are less exposed to the Syrian army air strikes. The young Ahmad is complaining about the very hard living conditions of his daily life. There is no running water and electricity. « When it is raining we have to go out of the graveyard because it is full of water ».

Entrée d'un tombeau occupé par une famille réfugiée sur le site archéologique de Shansharah dans la région d'Idleb. Depuis un an des centaines de déplacés trouvent refuge dans les ruines des célèbres « villes mortes » du nord-ouest du pays. Eloignées des villes alentours, elles sont moins ciblées par les attaques aériennes de l'armée syrienne. Le petit Ahmad se plaint des conditions de vie déplorables dans lesquelles ils vivent. Ils ne disposent ni d'eau courante, ni d’électricité.
« Quand il pleut trop, nous sommes obligés de sortir car le tombeau se remplit d'eau ».

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Life In The Graves - La Vie Dans Les ...
Shanshrah, Idlib province, Syria
By Marie
13 Apr 2013

The refugees have put some tarp at the entry of the graveyard where they live on the Shansharah archeological site, Idlib region. Living conditions are extremely hard when the rain seeps into the graveyard. It has been one year that hundreds of displaced people are taking shelter in the ruins of these famous « dead cities » in the North-West. Far away from the surrounding cities, they are less exposed to the Syrian army air strikes.
Les réfugiés ont installé des bâches à l'entrée du tombeau où ils vivent dans sur le site archéologique de Shansharah dans la région d'Idleb. Les conditions de vie sont extrêmement dures quand l'eau de pluie s'infiltre dans la tombe. Depuis un an des centaines de déplacés trouvent refuge dans les ruines des célèbres « villes mortes » du nord ouest du pays. Éloignées des villes alentours, elles sont moins ciblées par les attaques aériennes de l'armée syrienne.

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Life In The Graves - La Vie Dans Les ...
Shanshrah, Idlib province, Syria
By Marie
13 Apr 2013

It has been one year that the children refugees on the Shansharah archeological site in the Idlib region are not going to school. "Our school has been bombed by the army, we hope to start studying again when everything will be over."

Depuis un an les enfants réfugiés du site archéologique de Shansharah dans la région d'Idleb ne vont plus à l'école. « Notre école a été bombardée par l'armée, on espère retourner étudier quand tout se terminera ».

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Life In The Graves - La Vie Dans Les ...
Shanshrah, Idlib province, Syria
By Marie
13 Apr 2013

Hygiene is very bad on the Shansharah archeological site, Idlib region. They fled the air strikes without being able to bring their personal belongings.

Les conditions d'hygiène des populations déplacées dans le site archéologique de Shansharah dans la région d'Idleb sont déplorables. Ils ont fui les bombardements sans pouvoir emporter leurs affaires personnelles.

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Life In The Graves - La Vie Dans Les ...
Shanshrah, Idlib province, Syria
By Marie
13 Apr 2013

A baby infected by leishmania, a skin disease that is passed on by an insect that looks like a big mosquito and is devastating this rural region. It provokes red stings which attack the skin. Before the revolution, an insecticide was spread in order to kill the insect. No humanitarian organization is supporting the sick people.

Bébé atteint de la leishmaniose. Cette maladie de peau transmise par un insecte ressemblant à un gros moustique fait des ravages dans cette région rurale. Il provoque des boutons qui rongent la peau. Avant la révolution, un insecticide était diffusé pour éradiquer l'insecte. Aucune organisation humanitaire ne vient en aide aux malades.

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The Midnight Protests
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
By Javed Iqbal
02 Jan 2013

Thousands of urban poor decided to sit-in at Azad Maidan over the last five days until the government gives a positive response to their demands for the right to housing, and for the government to investigate a Slum Rehabilitation scheme that has been displacing the people who it is meant to serve.

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Displaced Syrians Brace For Winter's ...
Idlib, Syria
By U.S. Editor
14 Dec 2012

Displaced Syrians brace for winter’s onslaught.

There are nearly two million internally displaced people who are stuck inside Syria with no place to go. Cold and afraid, most say they want desperately want to cross into Turkey. But Turkey has refused to accept them citing overcrowding. Qah camp is inside Syria close to the Turkish border. It was founded three months ago and is now has 520 tents. More families arrive every day, many from Hass—a town 85 kilometers southwest of Aleppo. The population, mainly women, children and the elderly, has swelled to 3600 since it was established three months ago.

About 450,000 Syrians live in camps in neighboring countries including over 137,000 in Turkey. But for an estimated two million internally displaced people remain in Syria, in danger and living in very difficult conditions.

Two new refugee camps are being constructed in Turkey, ostensibly to accommodate those stuck at the border. But for the people whose homes have been destroyed, family members killed, villages abandoned, it’s a race against time, weather and war.

Just two weeks ago regime forces dropped bombs nearby, creating a panic as people ran desperately for the Turkish border. No deaths were reported, but the situation remains tense. “Six missiles hit this village and [nearby] Atmeh,” reported Hassan, 35, a former police officer who has joined the FSA and lives with his family in the camp.

Since winter began more than a month ago, the region has experienced many days of torrential rains. Water leaks into the tents, wetting blankets, mattresses and rugs. At night, temperatures sometimes drop below freezing. “From inside the tents, you can hear the children crying,” says Mustafa, a 22 year-old former chef and military sergeant who fled with nine members of his family.

A doctor working with Medicins du Monde who preferred not to be identified said that he has seen many cases of respiratory problems and say that about 30% of the camp’s residents suffer from diarrhea as a result of unclean drinking water. Hepatitis A is also spreading rapidly at the camp. And it’s only December—the toughest winter months are still ahead.

-Jodi Hilton