In our world today, there are millions of people fleeing places they once called home. In the video The Harrowing Personal Stories of Syrian Refugees, in Their Own Words, refugees tell their stories of pain, loss, and suffering as they find safety on an island in Greece. Despite having nothing left, many of them still have hope for a better future.
One of the most striking things about this video is that it contrasts completely with the common narrative about immigrants today. Many media outlets portray immigrants (especially those from the Middle East) as violent, American-hating, job-stealing, and only coming to the US with the intention of ruining it. The people featured in the video, however, are the exact opposite: they like to “earn [their] living,” as one man puts it, and miss their country dearly. To quote one woman, “Everything. I miss everything in Syria.” Despite knowing her country is too dangerous for even animals to live in, she wishes only to return– a common desire stated by almost everyone in the video.
Each person told tales of pain. Each person told tales of suffering. There wasn’t a single person who didn’t lose something precious to them: a store, a husband, a home. Most terrifying, they all shared the same story of seeing people drown– but they got on boats anyway, because where else could they have gone?