January 23, 2018

What is life like for Syrian refugees in Trump's America?

In the second of a special week of shows from the Sundance Film Festival, we go behind the scenes of a documentary that follows the lives of four Syrian families in the US.

More than five million people have fled Syria’s brutal war since 2011.


The United States has accepted just 21,000 of that number as refugees. "This Is Home" follows four families from this small community as they try to settle into the city of Baltimore. They have eight months to find work, learn English and adapt to their new lives with the help of aid group the International Rescue Committee. 


At the end of that period, they must be self-sufficient. And the clock starts ticking as soon as they land.


Despite good intentions, a vast cultural divide prevents the new arrivals and the Americans trying to help them from truly understanding each other.


For Syrians like Khaldoun, who was tortured and left disabled, and children like Mohammad, who suffers from PTSD, their needs extend far beyond language lessons and tips on what to wear to job interviews.


In the second of a week of special shows from the Sundance Film Festival, The Stream meets both the people featured in ‘This Is Home’ and its filmmakers to ask why telling this story was so important.  


Read more:

'This Is Home' Is A Harrowing Take On Refugee Life In America - Playlist 

Full Al Jazeera English coverage of Syria's civil war - aljazeera.com 


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