Those who have paid attention to the news or heard family discuss the Syrian refugee crisis might think they know what’s going on overseas, but there is so much more to the story that.
ETSU’S Model United Nations hosted a viewing of the documentary film “Salam Neighbor” as a part of Civility Week on Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Two filmmakers, Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple, journey to a United Nations Refugee Camp near Mafraq, Jordan.
The United Nations camp works with over 30 nonprofits in order to aid Syrians who have crossed the border in order to escape the destruction at home.
Before the presentation, nursing student Meira Yasin spoke to the audience about her experience at a Syrian Refugee camp in Jordan with the program Flying Doctors of America and as a remote area medical worker in Greece.
“I’m not interested in politics,” Yasin said. “It’s not really something I understand or want to get involved in, but there’s a humanitarian aspect to this that is extremely important.”
Yasin showed pictures from her trip to a different camp than what was shown in the documentary, but still contained the same kinds of stories and people the audience saw in the film.
“To access these camps, you’re basically going off of a dirt road to the middle of nowhere, with people having almost no knowledge that these people exist,” Yasin said. “They are where they are because what’s better out there is better than what is going on at home.”
The documentary showcased the mentally scarring wounds that refugees carry with them after losing loved ones, neighborhoods, schools and work places that once provided for their family.
They have lost their home due to the warfare and bombings.
While there is educational resources, medical attention, food, and other things available, the people have learned to create their own kinds of markets and invest into their temporary housing. Several refugees and aid workers have started working together to make resource centers to help women and children who suffer from emotional hardships.
While the Za’atari refugee camp has been up and running for several years now, refugees long to go back home and have the pain stop.
“As humans, we shouldn’t just help our own people,” Yasin said. “We should help everyone who needs us, and I really feel like the Syrian refugees — especially like the ones I was talking about that are in remote areas — they really don’t have anyone else to help them, so they get lost and forgotten.”
Members of Model UN and Yasin encourage people to donate time and money if possible, but mostly encourage people to be aware and informed on the issues that not only Syrians are undergoing but crises other communities of people in the world are facing as well.
“They’re humans, too, and no one would choose to be in their situation,” Yasin said.