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Yousef, 43 years old, and his daughter Zena, 12 years old, from Idlib, Syria

“Simply put, I left for my kids,” says Yousef.

After years working in hotel management for Sheraton in Damascus and Saudi Arabia, the father of four had saved his earnings and started a dairy factory in Idlib to be closer to family. One day the Syrian Army attacked their town, killing scores of people and wiping out neighborhoods. The family happened to be in Damascus at the time; both the factory and their house were burned.

“Why? I don’t know,” he says.

He and his wife, Hanan, moved the family from town to town in the years that followed, looking for a place that would be safe from bombings. Ultimately they decided they had to leave Syria this year.

“It isn’t 10 or 20 bombs, but hundreds,” he explains. “It’s all charcoal now.”


Photo & Story by: Allison Voigts

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