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Seeking safety

How Syrian refugees have found new lives in Canada and Lebanon

The Syrian war has created one of the largest human displacements in history – with millions of people on the move seeking safety. For over five years, British-Lebanese journalist Zahra Mackaoui has been following the stories of a group of Syrians, who have scattered across the world in search of safety. She originally met and interviewed them in the early years of the long-running civil war.

Zahra starts with Hani, a young man who has become a national figure in his new homeland of Canada, where he sat on the National Youth Council. From there the story passes to Hani’s cousin Ayesha, who is in Lebanon, where life is often difficult. Also in Lebanon, she catches up with a young girl called Shahad. Her family home was destroyed by a missile and they are now living in abject poverty in a half-built university south of Beirut. She hears how they have coped – or otherwise - often in conditions of incredible adversity. She hears about the challenges they have faced, the choices they have made and how they have managed to survive and on occasion, to thrive.

Archive courtesy of: UNHCR
Producer: Craig Templeton Smith

(Photo: Shahad and her family)

Available now

53 minutes

Last on

Wed 22 May 2019 23:06GMT

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