LOOK INTO MY EYES

2013 Jordan and Lebanon

"At times, death seems more easy than being detained and tortured", says a male Syrian refugee living in Jordan, that doesn't want his identity revealed.

As the war in Syria, after more than two years of civil war, shows no sign of easing, the number of refugees continues to grow at an alarming rate. Currently around three  million Syrian refugees have escaped from the bombings, killings, rapes and the extremely difficult living conditions in Syria, to neighboring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon.

Having visited Syria in December 2011 and having friends in Damascus, I felt an urge to start a portrait project about the Syrian refugees that have escaped the “madness”, as many described it, in their homeland. I wanted to hear the Syrian refugees telling their own stories, what they experienced in Syria, what they missed about Syria, the circumstances that made them decide to leave. In video interviews they describe their life in war-torn Syria and  as refugees in the hosting country. Several men broke down during the interviews, when describing how they were arbitrarily detained, put in jail and and tortured. Two of the men had the exact same tip of the finger cut off.

The Syrians I have met in Jordan and Lebanon struggle everyday to survive in the hosting countries facing difficulties in various areas: shelter, health, food, unemployment, PTSD, education, the loss of friends and relatives, the loss of contact with family members, and the heavy depression from having “lost control over their lives” being completely dependent on the help they receive from the NGO’s