Resettled Life after Refugee Camps
Written by Kristi Burton
One chilly morning last October, I enjoyed the day I spent photographing father and son, Akhtar and Kamil. Behind my lens, I captured their day from beginning to end. I was touched by their faith and courage in spite of all they have been through.
An expert craftsman in marble and granite, Akhtar had a successful business in Damascus. His five stores and home were completely destroyed by bombs. He lost so much. After living in a couple refugee camps, Akhtar took his son, Kamil, and made the difficult journey to Germany, where they were able to find work, first as apprentices in a stone quarry (though they are already masters of the trade). They are pleased to be able to use their specialized skills in their new country.
Although discouraged that their family is still in a camp in Lebanon, they hope to reunite with them soon. I was so impressed with how they are making the most out of their current circumstances.
This is a day in their life.
Over the last year we have developed close relationships built on mutual trust with many of the families we help. We know their names, their personal stories, and individual needs. We are fully aware that our donations are only a temporary band aid for a larger problem. A bag of groceries only goes so far, and they will be back the following Saturday for more. Sometimes, though, we can make a bigger impact in someone’s life.
Selfies with friends. Shurooq and Sasha enjoy shopping together.
Suzanne Kaufman’s colorful illustrations are a delightful pair to Alaxandra Penfold’s narrative stating “all are welcome here,” no matter one's appearance or background.