A new video from Huna Sotak, RNW Media’s journalistic platform for young Arab voices in the Middle East and North Africa, asked Syrian refugees to name the most important thing they took with them from Syria. For one woman, the answer was a pair of pants. “My son is thirteen years old,” says the woman. “He took a pair of pants with him… They’re a souvenir from his brother. His brother stayed behind in Syria. I couldn’t bring him with me.” She recounts how while trying to escape on a smuggler’s boat, a smuggler tried to force her son to throw away the pants. When the smuggler threatened to throw the boy overboard if he refused, he replied, “Throw me off the boat, kill me, whatever you want, but I won’t let go of these pants.” The smuggler relented. The woman says her son refuses to wear the pants until they manage to reunite with his brother.
For another man, the answer was pictures of his daughters, one 4, the other 2. They left for Germany, with their mother, but he was unable to stay in contact and now, in Germany himself, cannot find them. “I don’t have anything else,” he says.
Huna Sotak, which literally means ‘here’s your voice,’ is asking other Syrian refugees to share their stories under the hashtag: #Keepsake_from_Syria.
Watch the subtitled video on YouTube.