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The Journey From Syria (2016)

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Reporter Matthew Cassel spent a year documenting the journey of Syrian jeweler Aboud Shalhoub as he travels from Turkey to Greece, and through Eastern Europe to the Netherlands to be reunited with his wife and children, whose story is told from Damascus and then the Netherlands. This six-part series is an extraordinary accomplishment and highly recommended. 

Part One: No Choice

After spending two years attempting to build a life in Turkey so that he can move his family out of Syria, Aboud realizes the best way to relocate his family is to take a difficult 1700 mile journey through the EU to apply for asylum. 9 mins

Part Two: By Air or By Land?

After finding his way to Athens with his brother, Aboud joins with other refugees to plan the best way to get to The Netherlands so that they can apply for asylum. 11 mins

Part Three: The Balkans Trek

In a true test of endurance against social and environmental pressures, Aboud and his brother decide to walk together through the Balkans joined by many other refugees from the Middle East. 12 mins

Part Four: Welcome to the EU

Aboud and his brother only have to cross the Serbian border to gain access to the EU. 13 mins

Part Five: Reunion

Aboud’s wife and two children prepare to be reunited with him in the Netherlands after more than two years of only seeing him via Skype calls. 13 mins

Part Six: The Backlash

As Aboud’s family starts their new life together in the Netherlands, anti-immigrant nationalists gain power and visibility across the EU. 13 mins

You can read an interview with the director here.

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

Today, with the help of our members (who can add content directly to our site), we've curated over 5,000 of the best documentaries, short films, and videos that can be watched for free online plus several dozen pay-per-view documentaries, sorted into 34 subjects related to changing the world.

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“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21