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Leaving home behind: Young Syrian refugees speak out

Lebanon, Syria, June 18, 2014

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More than 3 years after the conflict in Syria began, young Syrian refugees and their families are struggling to navigate new lives in neighboring countries. Each one of Syria’s nearly 3 million refugees has a story, and each story is unique.

Four young refugees, living in central Lebanon, created the videos below to share their own stories — stories of fleeing their homes in search of safety and the heartbreaking moments that surrounded those painful decisions.

Even in their grief and uncertainty, Doulama, Zelal, Emad, and Marwa hang on to their hopes for the future — and for a renewed Syria that would allow them to return home.

The project was part of our ongoing work engaging young refugees in community projects and creative activities that allow them to express themselves and develop positive life skills.

Helping long-term refugees move forward with their lives requires long-term thinking. In addition to responding to urgent needs for food, clean water and safe shelter, we are focused on helping this generation of young people recover from the trauma of war and look towards a productive future.


“I was walking and telling myself I do not want to look back. It's okay. It won't be long.” — Doulama, 18


"We saw the shooting in front of us, the blood, and the dead." — Zelal, 17


"He told me 'We either all go out or all go down.'" — Emad


"I wish we could return home. I wish this situation wouldn't last any longer." — Marwa, 21