June 17, 2015

National Geographic Photographers Provide Family Portraits to 18,000 Syrian Refugees.

A Syrian woman presses a framed photo against her chest.

The photo features one of the only things she has left: her family. For a moment, she is reminded that home is far more than just a place.

Photographers from Ripple Effect Images arrived in Jordan last month with a unique mission: to offer a photograph to every Syrian refugee family in a camp of 18,000 people.  Since the start of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, an estimated 9 million Syrians have been displaced, often fleeing without so much as a family portrait.

The Ripple Effect Images team, including National Geographic photographers Lynn Johnson and Annie Griffiths and award winning filmmaker Nacho Corbella, spent two weeks providing family photos and gathering personal stories that will be used to raise funding for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

In the refugee camp, Ripple photographers met farmers and doctors, teachers and shopkeepers, university students and engineers whose lives were torn apart by war.  The gift of a simple family photo lit up their eyes, caused some to gasp and others to giggle.

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Author: Annie Griffiths

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Images: Courtesy of the author

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Annie Griffiths