What if Manhattan…

Can you imagine if you lived in New York City and woke up one morning to find that everyone had gone, you couldn’t fail to notice something like that. However this isn’t a plot line for the film ‘I Am Legend’ with you playing Will Smith’s role, instead it’s an disturbing visual observation of what it would be like if NYC was in Syria, a desolate, abandoned ruin of a city, devoid of it’s inhabitants.

Purpose and the Hamdi Foundation who have just released this hard hitting video for UNHCR that illustrates the scale of the Syrian Refugee crisis by showing what 1.5 million people leaving Manhattan would look like.

It’s the largest refugee crisis since World War Two. Slavery, Isis, beheadings and crucifixions. Just a few of the nightmares Syrian families are fleeing their homes from. In just three days, Turkey took in more Syrian refugees than Europe has in three years. Violence from the Assad regime has forced ten million people from their homes – that’s half the country – and more than 3 million out of the country itself. There are now 3.3 million refugees, and over half are children.

Syria’s neighboring countries have bore the brunt of the war in Syria’s effects by taking in millions. But now, they can’t keep up. In some of the poorest communities in the Middle East, the strain on resources has made life unbearable. Lebanon has welcomed 1,600,000 refugees, swelling its population by 36%. While at last count USA has accepted only about 300 Syrian refugees so far and the UK had only resettled 54.

The statistics are shocking, but they don’t tell the individual stories of those so personally affected. They don’t tell Dalya’s story – a mother of four who had to sell her asthma medication to pay rent. Or Khalida’s story, another mother of four who was hit by a sniper and paralysed from the neck down. For them, every day is a fight for survival.

The international community is failing to respond to their needs meaning millions do not have enough to eat, fuel to keep warm or a safe place to lay their heads. Visit www.unhcr.org for more information and to pledge your support.


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