Why We Speak: Help Spread Syrian Stories

 
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This past May, Afghan-born American novelist Khaled Hosseini traveled to Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp with UNHCR to bear witness to the realities of the Syrian conflict. Writing in his reflection for New Statesman he began,

“Some things are simply too big to be taken in all at once. Raise your eyes one night to the sky, to the blackness sprayed with millions of stars, and try seeing all of it, the whole sky. It can’t be done. It overwhelms. The best you can do is to fix on a star or two and imagine the sheer vastness of the heavens through them. Sometimes, what you can’t grasp as a whole, you can picture through its parts. The same could be said about human suffering.”

With a stroke of his pen, Hosseini put into eloquent words the challenges human rights advocates and humanitarian organizations face when attempting to engage the public on mass atrocities.

This summer marks the fourth year of the Syria’s civil war. Estimates suggest 7.6 million Syrians are internally displaced and close to 4 million are living as refugees. These numbers are critical indicators of the magnitude of this humanitarian disaster. They are cold hard facts– easy to memorize and appealing to the human mind, which seeks to apply order and understanding to a tragedy, the reality of which is too catastrophic for us to truly comprehend. In quantifying human tragedy, however, we lose sight of the problem at the most basic and universal human level.

In early 2014, 3 Generations set out for Jordan to film the stories of Syrian refugees living in and around Amman. Our mission was to give a human face to the tragedy of Syria’s civil war. Our efforts resulted in three beautiful stories which are available for viewing on our website. In 2015, we are continuing our efforts to share the individual stories of Syrians and those tirelessly working to bring peace to the region. 3 Generations has partnered with GroundTruth Productions to produce a new film titled, Beyond the Borders. Set along the borders of Syria and Lebanon, Beyond the Borders will follow the efforts of German Professor, Friedrich Bokern as he builds a new model for peace. The film, shot by Georgia and Sophia Scott, will follow Bokern as he fights against the spread of terrorism, for human rights and education for all. Entwined in Bokern’s story are the intimate journeys of four Syrian refugees battling to overcome the torment of their shattered lives.

As a small nonprofit, our ability to create great films depends on the generosity of our donors and fans. With your support we can ensure these stories are heard. Join 3 Generations today and help us bring attention to the plight of Syria’s refugees. 

There are 3 million Syrian refugees in 5 host countries. The Syrian civil war is one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time, affecting not only internal affairs, but also the peace and stability of the surrounding countries. The Assad regime in Syria has killed 32,507 people, 75% of whom were civilians. The atrocities committed need recognition; this is our call to action. Just 4 donations of $25 will help support our film crew as we travel, film, and edit for our upcoming projects. Let’s not let the Syrian crisis pass by like another social media trend. Support 3 Generations as we share survivors’ stories of atrocity, and work to fulfill humanity’s potential through storytelling. You can make a difference!

We are excited to announce that the stories in our film “Three” are now available to stream online at 3generations.org. “Three” is a short and intimate account of three Syrian refugees’ stories that drives home the human scale of this crisis. Follow us on facebook and twitter for updates on our mission to spread awareness about the personal plight of atrocity.

We deeply appreciate your time and support. Help us record the voices that go unheard.

Yasmine from "Three"
Yasmine from "Three"

As 3 Generations starts 2015 moving forward, we are reminded of the progress we've made in the years past. In November of 2014, 3 Generations held a screening of Three, our short documentary featuring the stories of those directly affected by the ongoing crisis in Syria. While watching, our audience became acquainted with Yasmine, a young mother struggling to support her children following the death of her husband. They then met Nasr, a former student and aspiring actor turned fighter for the Free Syrian Army. Finally, the audience heard the words of Sultan, a defector of the Assad military, who became crippled following a firefight with a military official of the regime.

Along with personal stories from a representative of the Syrian Youth for Peace, our viewers took a personal look into the struggles of those affected by the conflict in Syria. Through these harrowing accounts and stories, one thing became clear: for Yasmine, Nasr, Sultan and thousands of other Syrians, chaos had become the new normal.

"No one knew anything. Same as any other day, we thought it was the usual attack," recalls Yasmine prior to learning the fate of her husband.

3 Generations works for a world where explosions and gunshots in the distant are not synonymous with normal background noise. With the new year still fresh, we’re kicking off 2015 with a renewed focus on our mission to amplify the words of survivors around the globe. This January, our Executive Director, Jane Wells will be in Florida to present the Mallone Prize, a prize to honor and award the efforts of individuals fighting against sex slavery in the US. In Kigali, Rwanda, our Development and Outreach Coordinator, Hannah Eddy, will be learning more about the Rwandan genocide and updating our audience with reports of her travels.

In 2015, please look forward to our continued progress. With your continued support, together we can help realize a world where only peace is the norm.

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It's been a year since President Obama's "red-line" statement and the UN and OPCW's (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) subsequent joint mission into Syria elicited the surge in Syria related news stories that the millions of suffering and displaced Syrians so desperately needed. A year later however, the narrative has changed considerably. Where last year, newspapers detailed the stories of ordinary Syrians, the majority of whom are moderate Muslims, simply trying to resist Assad and/or get their families out of harm's way, stories today have narrowed their attention to focus on the West's fight against extremist groups, specifically ISIS. Sadly however, Syria's civil war remains ongoing with the numbers of displaced Syrians only growing larger by the day. Without international news outlets focusing on the refugee crisis, who hears their stories?

As a storytelling organization, 3 Generations endeavors to share the stories of individuals who have endured tremendous abuse and suffering. As a nonprofit however, our filmmaking efforts depend on donations from people like you. Help us raise the money we need to produce new video interviews with Syrian refugees by donating to our project today.

You + Global Giving + 3 Generations = 50% more support for survivors!

Tomorrow, your support of our project means even more. Global Giving is offering to match your donation by 50% on July 16th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. (EDT). 

Take this opportunity to make your yearly or monthly donation. 

There are other exciting prizes for our project as well, including big cash bonuses that will help us all year long as we record more stories from Rwanda, Tibet, Cambodia, and the US. You can help us share these stories.

Hurry, this offer is only viable from 9:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on July 16th!

Thanks to our generous donors who have already helped us get closer to our goal.  Our team is so lucky to have such great supporters!

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Organization

3 Generations

New York, NY, United States
http://www.3generations.org

Project Leader

Jane Wells

3 Generations Founder and President
New York, NY United States

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