Syrian Refugees: Rebuilding their future

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As regular followers of this blog know, I am now crowdfunding for a major project to document, photographically and written, the stories of Syrian refugees in Jordan, many of whom I met last year when I was working in Syria and the refugee camps of Lebanon and Jordan. Many will never be able to return to their country so now they are working to make a new life. This project is about bringing a new narrative, which shows the humanity of refugees as they work to rebuild their lives rather than simply portraying them as pathetic creatures living in the dirt, the way the media generally shows them.

We are people like you too

Click                 We are people like you too

This is a big project, which will result in a book and exhibitions in Europe and the USA. To succeed it needs your help. I am absolutely certain there are many people in the world who care about their fellow human beings and would like to help this project become a reality. It only needs 400 people generously donating $95 each for this to happen. The result will be major. As those of you who know of my work are aware, you know the impact my photography and writing is far reaching, having been invited to show and talk about my work in Syria internationally. Together we can change the narrative and give a strong voice to the Syrians who have had to leave their country because of the violence.

Click the picture to go to the project and please don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any questions.

Please share this article and project with everybody you know. Thank you

Surprise

While doing some grocery shopping today a young guy comes up to me and says ” Hi, you are the Syria photographer” Took me by surprise.

DSC_2560 DSC_2311 DSC_2253 DSC_2199 DSC_2140 DSC_2056 DSC_1963 DSC_1952 DSC_1918 DSC_1864 DSC_1458 DSC_1403 DSC_1396 DSC_1383-Edit _DSC2735These images are a small taste of my book, Syria: Refugeesa and Rebels. Click the image below for more details.

Syria: Refugees & Rebels

 

 

 

Projects Around the World

Gallery

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:
We’re inspired to see bloggers doing things they love and using this platform to make their voices heard. Here’s a look at some interesting projects around the globe. Russell Chapman: Telling the stories of Syrian…

Rice Bucket Challenge vs Ice Bucket Challenge

This for me is a much better way of addressing a cause. Instead of wasting precious water that many in the world are literally dying to drink, in India they have come up with the Rice Bucket Challenge. Here is their FB page

https://www.facebook.com/ricebucketchallenge

Rice Bucket Challenge

How children in Africa with little quality water to drink see the Ice Bucket Challenge

How children in Africa with little quality water to drink see the Ice Bucket Challenge

USA being sucked into confrontation with Islamic State

Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL or Da’ish as it is known in arabic  is doing a good job of drawing the West into the quagmire of conflict in the Middle East. A year ago, after chemical gas attacks on civilians in Syria, it seemed for a brief moment the USA and UK would approve missile strikes against the Syrian regime and try to bring an end to the conflict. That has not happened and the death toll in Syria now stands at over 190,000 people, mostly civilians. As always, it is the innocent who suffer most in war.

A year later and and here we are again, IS (Islamic State) attacked Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, and then there was the execution of James Foley by a probably British member of IS. This time, the USA is carrying out airstrikes against IS positions to help local Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces on the ground. It seems inevitable that at some point there will be a USA led armed force entering Iraq, “boots on the ground” Not only this but maybe also airstrikes against IS targets inside Syria. It is a slippery slope lined with many dangers.

If this happens, many more young muslims from around the world will flock to Iraq and Syria to take up the fight. As is often reported, there is support around the world by disenfranchised young muslims, not only in the UK, USA and Europe but also in Indonesia and other countries with muslim populations, IS has a global network. This network is funding the travel of those who want to join the Islamic State and has been preparing for a long time for this situation

One question, why are Russia and Iran, who support Bashar al Assad of Syria, not also talking about taking the fight to IS in Syria? They seem happy to allow the USA to get sucked into this situation. It seems to me that once the West gets involved, it will be very hard to extricate itself. It was Assad who allowed ISIS to build up in Syria, the Syrian government even buys oil from them. Assad wanted the war to become sectarian and extremist and in so doing put himself in the position of being the only person left in Syria who can work with the West against IS in Syria, thereby regaining international legitimacy, a clever and callous tactic that has so far cost the lives of over 190,000 Syrians and created millions of refugees.

As for Iraq, they don’t seem to be able to form any sort of unified government which shares power evenly between the Shia, Sunni and Kurds. If the West were to go into Iraq without the agreement of a newly formed and unified government, it will be seen as western imperialism, which will drive even more Iraqi’s into the arms of IS. The Shia of Iraq are forming many militia groups and they seem to be well equipped and trained, many of them spent time in Lebanon in Hezbollah training camps. The scene is very much set for there to be general conflict between Sunni and Shia, not only with IS.

Into all this the West is talking about becoming more deeply involved, citing the threat of IS terrorists targeting the USA and UK etc.This is an unwinnable war and one that involvement can only make worse. The West is trying to win a war against an idea, a perverted idea but one with very deep roots, an idea which appeals to large numbers, millions of disenfranchised young muslims around the world.

Who cares about arab refugees?

I have been tentative about writing this for a while but now has come the time. I have been confronted by the fact that the arab nations in general give no real consideration to the plight of their fellow arab brothers and sisters who have been forced to become refugees or inflicted by suffering.

Why do I say this? I have many contacts in the arab world, all proclaim to care about what is happening to their fellow arab brothers and sisters who have been forced to become refugees, at the same time very few are willing to do anything to genuinely alleviate the suffering of their fellow people and solve the problems which led to them becoming refugees, whether Palestinian or Syrian. It has become apparent that the majority will only help if it gives them some publicity, some personal honour, rather than wanting to be truly humanitarian, discretion is not something they are aware of , the trumpet needs to be blown at the head of procession which proclaims their generosity.

Not all arabs are this way, however their leaders and heads of important families are only interested in publicity. They prove themselves to be the sons of lesser sires. The middle east is doomed as long as this attitude prevails. Will they change?

 

My latest Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INFORMATION CONTACT: Russell Chapman: info ( at) russellchapman.ch

Photographer seeks funding to document how Syrian refugees in Jordan are rebuilding their lives

Russell Chapman is a freelance photographer who spent a month in Syria last year covering the violence in that country. He also visited Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon and was impressed and surprised by the warmth of the people despite the hardships they were suffering. After his trip, Chapman published a book of photographs called “Refugees and Rebels” and talked about his experiences during international conferences at Franklin University in Switzerland, Oxford University in England and the Conference of Forced Migration in Washington, D.C. Now he wants to return to Syria to document a side of this situation which has received less attention, the way in which Syrian refugees in Jordan are rebuilding their lives. Russell Chapman has established an Indiegogo campaign requesting donations to fund this trip, https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/syrian-refugees-rebuilding-their-future/x/83874 06. The campaign will remain open for donations through September 24, 2014.

Huge numbers of Syrians are now refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The United Nations has registered more than 600,000 refugees in Jordan. The majority of them live in urban areas in the north of Jordan and the rest are in refugee camps. The Jordan refugee camp Za’tari is the second largest refugee camp in the world. The Syrian civil war has had a dramatic impact upon Northern Jordan because it started right across the border. At the start of this conflict many Syrians went to live with relatives in Jordan; but, as the trouble escalated, thousands of Syrians without relatives in Jordan began to go there for help.

Russell Chapman wants to return to Jordan to gather photos and other material for a second book documenting “Syrian Refugees: The Human Story”, how they are finding ways to rebuild their lives. He plans to donate 20% of all profits from the book and sale of photographic works to buy medicine for the Syrian refugees. Many cannot afford the medicines they need, especially for the children, so this project will provide direct benefit to those who need it. Chapman has stayed in contact with many of the refugees he met on the first trip. He plans to follow up with them as well as meet with new Syrians to see how their lives have changed in the last year. Most photographers find an opportunity such as he had last year to be a “one and done” situation. Russell Chapman is in a position to document the next step, give a voice to those who have suffered so much. New crises seem to arise throughout the world every day. Nearly half the Syrian population has been displaced. “Syrian Refugees: the Human Story” seeks to bring a different narrative to the problem, one that shows the humanity of ordinary Syrians and demonstrates how, with the right help, they can rebuild their lives.

In addition to publication of the book, the photographer plans to schedule a series of exhibitions in the United States and Europe similar to the ones he arranged following his first trip. Some of those photos can be seen in the gallery on the campaign site.

For complete information about Russell Chapman’s project to complete the second half of his documentation of the lives and hopes of Syrian refugees in Jordan, go to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/syrian-refugees-rebuilding-their-future/x/83874 06.

Links across the internet to this press release:

http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/photographer-seeks-funding-to-document-how-syrian-refugees-in-jordan-are-rebuilding-their-lives-539236.htm

http://www.ssuchronicle.com/2014/08/19/photographer-seeks-funding-to-document-how-syrian-refugees-in-jordan-are-rebuilding-their-lives/

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2129342

http://www.menafn.com/1093918271/Photographer-Seeks-Funding-to-Document-How-Syrian-Refugees-in-Jordan-Are-Rebuilding-Their-Lives

http://www.fox42kptm.com/story/26318814/photographer-seeks-funding-to-document-how-syrian-refugees-in-jordan-are-rebuilding-their-lives

http://www.wltz.com/story/26318814/photographer-seeks-funding-to-document-how-syrian-refugees-in-jordan-are-rebuilding-their-lives

http://world.einnews.com/article__detail/219173192?lcode=80BoKNkjCIaN4yVXx2pgSw%3D%3D

http://finance.boston.com/boston/news/read/28008579/Photographer_Seeks_Funding_to_Document_How_Syrian_Refugees_in_Jordan_Are_Rebuilding_Their_Lives

http://markets.financialcontent.com/mng-lang.dailynews/news/read/28008579/Photographer_Seeks_Funding_to_Document_How_Syrian_Refugees_in_Jordan_Are_Rebuilding_Their_Lives

http://finance.dailyherald.com/dailyherald/news/read/28008579/Photographer_Seeks_Funding_to_Document_How_Syrian_Refugees_in_Jordan_Are_Rebuilding_Their_Lives

http://finance.dmwmedia.com/dmwmedia/news/read?GUID=28008579

I have a new project. Can you help?

I have been developing the idea for this project since I was in Syria last year to photo-document that terrible conflict as well as spending time in Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. What impressed me the most was the warmth of the people despite all the terrible hardship they are suffering.

I need your help

Syrian child in Zaatari refugee camp.                      “I need your help”

Millions of Syrians are now refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan and they have very little international support. Because of the circumstances they have to find ways of supporting themselves and their families. They are doing this by trying to find work but there also are quite a few who have started small businesses. Syrians are extremely resourceful, they have to be. This project is about telling the stories of these people as they find ways to rebuild their lives in a foreign country. I have kept many of my contacts with Syrians in Jordan. The plan is to follow up on them as well as meet new Syrians to see how their lives have changed in the last year. The objective is to show that although they are refugees they are no different to you and me, they desire security, a home, education and a job. Refugees are often portrayed in the media as pathetic creatures living in the dirt, I want to show their humanity as they work to rebuild their lives.

The project’s ultimate goal is to publish a book which tells the individual stories of those I will meet, interview and photograph as they go about rebuilding their lives. There will also be exhibitions in Europe and the USA as a continuation of the book and exhibitions I have already produced from my time in Syria last year.

I will also donate 20% of the profit from sales of the book and any photographic works to buy medicines for Syrian refugees. Many cannot afford the medicines they need, particularly for the children, this project will be of direct benefit to those who need help.

I now have a crowdfunding project at Indiegogo.com to help me complete what I feel to be an important project which will give a voice to many who can show the humanity of a people in a difficult situation. Please go to my project at Indeigogo and have a look and watch the video. With your help we can give a voice to those who have lost and suffered to much and really draw attention on an international scale to a people who simply want to live quietly with their families.

Even if you can’t help directly but you still believe in helping your fellow human beings then please share this appeal with as many people as possible. Anything you do is very much appreciated, thank you.