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Berivan, 12 years old, from Kobane, Syria

If there’s anyone in Ritsona camp who’s confident about the future, it’s Berivan.


“Since I was eight, I’ve known I’m going to be an eye doctor,” she says.

She whips out a pencil and draws a diagram of an eyeball with a tear duct next to it. “Did you know that when people cry, it comes from a sack next to the eye?” She pauses and points to her chest. “Of course, it also comes from the heart.

Berivan’s family will be leaving the camp soon to continue their asylum process in Athens, a move that she has mixed emotions about.

“I won’t get to see my friends as much, because they’ll be too far away. But I also won’t have to see any more bugs or rats.” She shudders. “I hate rats.”


Photo & Story: Allison Voigts

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