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waiting for hope by carole alfarah

NOOR -

“A Syrian becomes a refugee every 15 seconds,” said the UN’s refugee agency. After three years of a brutal conflict in Syria the country has seen a third of its population internally displaced or become refugees, in what aid agencies say it is the worst humanitarian disaster in modern times .

The Syrian refugees who managed to enter illegally to the Spanish city of Melilla report a litany of intense feelings and fears: anxiety, sadness, pain, humiliation, despair, defeat, and a little bit of hope.

Nonetheless, the European countries still have not opened their borders to welcome these refugees from one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent memory. The conflict has forced Syrians to search for illegal means to enter to the European territories.

A long, arduous road has forced thousands of Syrian refugees who fled the brutal war in their home country to search for peace and safety in Europe. They travel from Syria to Lebanon and then traverse on to Algeria in order to enter Morocco illegally. Once in Morocco they pay local traffickers to obtain fake Moroccan passports in order to enter Melilla, a small Spanish enclave on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast.

Once inside Melilla, they feel that they have arrived to the true safety of Europe, but they are often shocked because they have to wait many weeks and months before they can receive asylum the European Union.

Syrian refugees have described their existence in Melilla as if they are living in an “open
prison.” Currently they wait in limbo in order to have the opportunity to live in peace again in a new land.

BIO:

Carole Alfarah was born in Damascus, Syria, in 1981, into a family that cared more about science than the arts. By chance, at the age of 19, she discovered the Damascus Photography Club, and she immediately began to take pictures, buying her first 35mm film camera. In 2004, wishing to learn more about the medium, she traveled to Brussels and studied at the Contrast Photography School.

In 2007, Carole began to work professionally as a photojournalist, freelancing with Syrian and also regional newspapers and magazines. In 2009 she was selected to participate in the one-year training-program organized by World Press Photo in the MENA region. The story she made during that workshop “Fighting for their lives” was published in a collective book “Hekayat”. That same year she was also nominated for the WPPH Joop Swart Masterclass.

In 2011 Carole received the UNICEF Prize of Arab Media Award for Children’s Rights and in the same year she won the Jury prize for the International photography competition ‘Femmes au Travail’ (Women at work) organized by the association ‘ One Shot ‘ in Marseille, France. In 2013 Carole won a scholarship to attend Foundry Photojournalism workshop in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her work “After the Bombing” was presented in Angkor Photo Festival 2013 in Cambodia, and in the 6th international festival The Baltic Photo Biennale in Russia.

Carole has always focused her work on marginalized groups and youth. Since the conflict in Syria began, she now concentrates her efforts of telling the stories of the victims of the conflict both in Syria and outside.

Carole is currently based between Damascus and Barcelona, Spain.

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Waiting for hope
Waiting for hope
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Waiting for hope
Waiting for hope
Waiting for hope
Waiting for hope