New Documentary Takes Us Inside the Life of Syrian Refugee Trying to Make a New Life in Europe

Hamsa is a documentary and educational platform with an audacious goal: motivate viewers to alleviate the Syrian refugee crisis. The short documentary highlights one family's struggles after reaching Germany, and allows those watching to put a face to the global issue. Hamsa is a Syrian refugee and mother of three who migrated with her husband from Homs, Syria, to a small German village in September 2015. The BBC's interview with Hamsa intrigued two English filmmakers based in New York, who then contacted Hamsa about telling her story.


Watch the trailer for Hamsa:[vimeo_embed https://player.vimeo.com/video/159275035?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0 expand=1]

In January 2016, the FoxWolf Productions team of Caroline Spearpoint and Miriam Thom traveled to Schnega, Germany, to speak with Hamsa and her family about their experiences. The short film (20 minutes) shows Hamsa and her family in school, with their neighbors and adapting to German food and language. FoxWolf Productions has partnered with Change.org and the International Refugee Assistance Program in distributing the film and relaying its message.

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"We must try as much as we can to use story to push issues forward. The most fundamental piece is planning person to person, beyond numbers," said Benjamin Lowe, the U.S. senior campaigner at Change.org. Lowe explained that while the statistics are alarming, they don't change people's perceptions about who refugees are.

Watch an exclusive clip from Hamsa:[vimeo_embed https://player.vimeo.com/video/159421645?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0 expand=1]

"We need to find a new truth in these documentaries that they can believe as fact," Lowe explained. 

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Last November, the State Department told the Wall Street Journal that, since 2011, "California has received the most Syrian refugees, 257, followed by Texas, with 240, and Michigan, with 210." There are approximately 19.5 million refugees worldwide, more than at any time in history since World War II.

"No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land,” Hamsa says in the film, quoting the Somali-British poet Warsan Shire; a saying that has become synonymous with the refugee crisis, and gained notoriety in its escalation.

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