Thank You, Deeply

Dear Syria Deeply Community,

Syria Deeply was born to fill a gap that had been keeping people in Syria, and their stories, isolated from the rest of the world. Our mission was to highlight Syrian voices and perspectives through independent journalism that made sense of Syria’s complex and brutal conflict. For nearly six years, we have kept a close watch on both the humanitarian crisis and the political factors – global and domestic – that were escalating the war.

The lessons learned from Syria’s war will define modern conflict and how it is resolved. Conversely, the approaches for peacebuilding that have worked elsewhere will be vital to Syria’s future.

With this in mind, we are taking a new approach to delivering on our original mission. Syria Deeply’s coverage and editorial team will be folded into a new endeavor: Peacebuilding Deeply.

We are humbled by the engagement and dedication of Syria Deeply’s readers and contributors over the years. Because of your support, Syria Deeply evolved from a news site to a platform to exchange ideas and bridge perspectives on vital issues.

Syria Deeply’s trove of existing coverage will remain available through an archived version of the site. We also plan to launch special initiatives focused specifically on Syria, from dedicated research projects and reporting tracks to roundtable discussions around the world.

Though we now have a new home, our expertise and passion about Syria will be a constant. We are always willing to share our knowledge, answer questions and help advance the discussion about a country and people incredibly close to our hearts.

Thank you,

Lara Setrakian, CEO and Co-founder, News Deeply
Alessandria Masi, Managing Editor, Syria Deeply

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Interactive: Refugees’ Bags and Belongings

In the final part of our “Bags and Belongings,” Refugees Deeply senior editor Preethi Nallu explains the genesis of the series, in which Syrians describe what they brought with them and what they left behind. Read their stories in our interactive photo essay.

Written by Preethi Nallu Published on Read time Approx. 2 minutes
A collection of portrait images from the "Bags and Belongings" series Refugees Deeply

“While the earth sleeps, they still wander.”

I saw these words, by the Palestinian poet and writer Mahmoud Darwish, stitched on to the backpack of a fellow traveler as I waited at the train station in Catania, Sicily, two years ago. I was on my way to document the stories of refugees arriving in the Italian island’s capital, Palermo, nicknamed the “Gateway to Europe.”

A week later, at an abandoned military barracks where Syrian refugees were sheltering in Lavrio, near Athens, a boisterous group of children ran in circles around me and my translator. One of the children lost his footing and landed on my bag, breaking a little clay statue of Ganesh my mother had given me as a keepsake when I first left home many years ago.

As I fumbled to fix the pieces, cursing to myself, a little girl from Homs thrust her own prized possession into my palm. It was a locket with a blue eye – the so-called eye of Fatima, a traditional talisman from her home region, meant to cast out evil.

That simple act of kindness made our otherwise disparate worlds collide. We had both carried a small part of “home” with us – things whose value could only be measured by the sentiments they evoked.

These two experiences were the beginning of the idea for “Bags and Belongings” – a series of photos and narratives from Syrian refugees featured on Refugees Deeply over the past six weeks. See the full interactive with each of the refugees’ stories below:

Sebastian Viskanic

We partnered with The Outpost, a literary magazine focused on the Arab world, in gathering stories of Syrian men and women who left their homes amid the unceasing war and are now scattered to places ranging from neighboring Lebanon to the northern cities of Europe.

We simply asked them what they packed in their bags when they abruptly left their homes; what they left behind and what they found along the way. We asked how the meaning of home has changed for them since they embarked on their undefined journeys.

Underlying many of the stories we report about refugees is the notion of home and belonging. The angst of wanting to belong and the exhilaration of chance discoveries along the way – these are experiences to which we can all relate.

This story originally appeared on Refugees Deeply

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