STORIES OF THE PEOPLE WE'VE MET:

WASSIM MAMO (18) FROM TELL NASRI

'Yesterday we found a film on the internet where you can see how IS-fighters have been destroying our village. We will never go back anymore. That means too that we will never be able to go racing on our scooters with our friends again. The feeling of homesickness is very painful.' Read more.

IYMAN (63) FROM ALEPPO

'I want people to keep asking about my grandchildren, because no one sees them anymore. There is no future for them. Publish everything that you hear and see here. We need help'. Read more.

FAISAL (23) FROM KOBANE

'For me it is time to move on, my life has come to a standstill. In the Netherlands I hope that I will get the chance to show who I am and what I can do.' Read more.

RAGHIDA ADNAN (29) FROM HASHEMIJA 

'This small apartment costs us 400 dollars a month. That is why my husband spends every day sitting on the stoop at the crossroad while waiting for jobs as a plumber.' Read more.

ABOU BADWI (48) FROM HOMS

'Five years ago I had two garages, each with seven employees and an adjoining shop with car parts. I was specialized in Range Rovers.' Read more.

BASHAR (14) FROM ALEPPO

'In the past months two uncles have made the journey by boat to Europe. The hope of the family now rests with them.' Read more.

AFFAF MOHAMAD (20) FROM HAMAH

'A wedding in Syria lasts for three days and three nights. With food, music and the traditional Dabke dance. But unfortunately our wedding turned out very differently for us.' Read more.

HUSSEIN MOHAMAD (38) FROM HAMAH

'What I hope for the future? It is not up to me to have hope for the future because that falls under God’s will. And if you ask me what I think personally about the situation? I think what God will.' Read more. 

SEIF EL DINE DOMARANI (10) FROM MU'ADDAMIYAH

'One day I was building a fire along with my two little nephews when a bomb fell from the sky. My lower leg was badly injured. A strange man came and put me in car and took me to the hospital.' Read more.

BARAA AANTAR (10) FROM GHOUTA

'I really want to know how all of my friends are doing, because I was not able to say goodbye to them. Sometimes I think that they are all dead. Maybe they think that about me too.' Read more.

SATOUF MOHAMAD (51) FROM HAMAH

'Five years ago I lived in the countryside of the Hamah district. I picked up milk from the farmers with my car to take to the milk factory. When I look back on it now, yes, I can say that I was happy then.' Read more.

NIJAMEH (13) FROM EAST GHOUTA

'Recently my best friends and I went out at night together and we asked Allah if he could help us with money, and if he could end the war.' Read more.

 
 

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'OUTSIDE SYRIA'

About 8 million Syrians, almost half of the population, have fled their homes since the start of the conflict in Syria. 1.2 million of them ended up in the neighbouring country of Lebanon. Without the slightest certainty for a different future, they live in illegal tent camps or in small apartments in Beirut.

My partner Philip Brink and I decided to create a virtual 'bridge' between the Syrians and the Dutch. On Facebook we asked them  what they would like to ask. 

In Lebanon we filmed the answers and put those small films back on the timeline of the questioners. This trailer is a summary of the answers.

 

Published on: New York Times LENS Blog (US), New York Times, Page Two (US), The Week (US),  Fotokroniek (NL) Nooit meer slapen (NL, radio), Volkskrant Magazine (NL), The Guardian (UK), The Guardian Magazine (UK).