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At times, reports about the Syrian refugee crisis can feel like distant numbers—as many as 9 million Syrians have fled their homes since 2001, 6.5 million are internally displaced within the country, and children make up hundreds of thousands of displaced people.
It's when we see photos, videos and learn the personal stories of refugees that they become real and human for most of us. A 17-year-old Syrian girl made a short film that captured her and other children's everyday life in a refugee camp, and what she shows is heartbreaking, inspiring and undeniable.
For three months, Khaldiya Jibawi, along with a group of Syrian girls living in Jordan's Za'atari Refugee Camp, participated in a media workshop that challenged them to share their world as they now see it. As of August 2014, the United Nations had registered over 80,000 refugees in Za'atari.
"There were children screaming and crying. It was freezing
cold," Khaldiya narrates in her video titled "Another Kind of Girl."
Khaldiya talks about the changes she feels and sees since they've moved to the refugee camp; chiefly, she's more sociable and courageous. She shows shots of her siblings with a plastic bin playing over wet floors, children lugging water and young kids learning, all in very unconventional angles.
"I started to teach kids because I was deprived
of education," she said. "They shouldn't also be denied."
Projects like Khaldiya's video and acclaimed photographer Magnus Wennman's "Where the Children Sleep" offers some much-needed perspective during a time when people are angry, afraid and pushing for their countries to ban Syrian refugees.
Khaldiya, too, gets angry at times. Who wouldn't, when you're fleeing civil war and displaced from your home?
"Whenever I'm angry, I go out and start filming," she says. "However it
comes out doesn't matter. What's important is that I'm filming."