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.
To me, the label “refugee” is a badge of honor. I invite you to honor and celebrate refugees and welcomers with me this month and to meet some of these heroes at TSOS's Virtual World Refugee Day event on 17 June.
As we strengthen our relationships with resettlement agencies, friends, and community partners, we are discovering that the work doesn't have to be big to be important.