Since the beginnings of the 2011 Syrian uprising against the regime led by Bashar Al-Assad, more than 450,000 Syrians have lost their lives, while 11 million have been displaced both within and outside the country.
In 2014, Syrian members of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience – Enab Baladi and The Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies – collected oral histories from Syrian refugees and displaced individuals in order to ensure that a range of civilian narratives from the Syrian conflict are represented accurately and incorporated into memorialization processes.
Over fifty interviews were conducted with refugees in Jordan and Turkey and also with displaced Syrians still within the country. Each conveys a story of a life turned upside down; each is a testament to the disastrous consequences of war. As a whole, the recordings can serve as powerful tools in raising awareness of the conflict, as evidence in legal proceedings and as memorials to loved ones whose stories can no longer be heard.
In 2015, the Coalition worked with Nepali-American artist Anuj Shrestha to illustrate and provide even greater breadth to these personal accounts, which are often excluded from dominant narratives. Here are some of those stories.