A short film has been released documenting the distress and sense of betrayal felt by Syrian women and families, abandoned by the men who have migrated to Europe amid the civil war.
In the film, made by Citizen Journalism platform On The Ground (OGN), journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem visits a refugee camp in Syria, “because I wanted to get some of the opinions of some of the people that are here regarding the refugees who are flooding into Europe and other nations,” he says.
United Nations figures reveal that of the nearly 600,000 migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean this year, 69 per cent of them are men, and 55 per cent of them are from Syria.
“I felt that the voices that were missing from this entire situation are the voices that are inside of Syria that can not leave, or do not have the ability to leave.”
“Should the men leave Syria? Should they bring their families to a certain point and them come to fight Bashar-al Assad, or what have you?” he adds.
He says that many of the people in the camps have had “problems with security – particularly if they have daughters.”
“I am very upset about the men going out. We have a crisis here. So if they go, who will free us? Who will protect us? We are their honor. We are their honour… Who will avenge [the martyred]?” asks the first woman.
“It is wrong to leave your country… it is so hard, we are bearing everything not to leave our country… its harder than coming from European countries, its hard. Even if they are better, we will not go there,” says the second.
“In my opinion, it is forbidden to leave the country, they leave it when it is in bad need! They have to defend it. They have to stand by its people,” says the third.
“If we are speaking according to Islamic law, its not right,” says a man at the end. “This is leaving Jihad and turning one’s back on the enemy,” he says.
Kareem is an American journalist and documentary maker from New York, who claims to have “produced reports with Channel 4, BBC, Sky News, and the Dutch program Newseur.”