January 29, 2014

“What happens when the whole fabric of a society is blown apart, frayed not only at its edges but threatened at its very heart?” Ed Kashi (VII) recounts his personal experiences documenting the plight of Syrian refugee children in a guest blog entry on the National Geographic’s PROOF blog today.

Photo©2013_Ed Kashi/VII

Remembering the story of the children pictured below, Ed relates to their struggle in an emotional way. “They left behind their parents and four other siblings, and I found them living in a tent. For me, this story was especially poignant. I have two teenage kids, including a 16-year-old daughter. My heart ached for the mutual loss this family was going through—the kids separated from their parents, unprotected and in limbo— and I also was in awe of their strength and adaptability. When 16-year-old Muna told us, “I wish I had not lived to see the things I saw…and my greatest fear is never seeing my parents again,” everyone in the tent, including myself, my interpreter and the folks listening on the periphery, were in tears.”

Photo©2013_Ed Kashi/VII

Ed’s intimate look into the lives of the young refugees translates into a powerful collection of images. In this narrative piece, Ed gives insight to the personal connection and experiences behind the scenes from this documentary body of work.

Photo©2013_Ed Kashi/VII

“What I witnessed leaves no doubt in my mind that at least in northern Iraq, the expectation is that many of these folks will remain permanently and not return to Syria. If this is the case, the need to tell these stories is that much more important, and my desire that much more compelling.”

Read more from Ed on today’s National Geographic PROOF blog entry. Watch the film, “Syria’s Lost Generation” from Talking Eyes Media on Vimeo.

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