Altair Guimarães

A Syrian Family in Iceland

Valgerour Halla came into the world under unusual circumstances. She was born in Reykjavik to Syrian asylum seekers, Wael Aliyadah and Feryal Aldahash, who arrived in Iceland illegally in the summer of 2015 with two older daughters, Jana, 5, and Julie, 4. An initial application for asylum was refused but, after receiving support from 5,000 locals, an Appeals Board overturned the decision.

The parents were so thankful to their host country, that they gave their baby an Icelandic name. Valgerour Halla is named after a woman who helped the family through their ordeal.

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Searching for Home

Immigrants around the world face unbelievable challenges on their journey searching for a new place to call home. While much of the reporting focuses on the backlash refugees face from their new host nations, many communities are opening their arms and minds.

Background image: Feryal Aldahash looks down on her third daughter Valgerour Halla at their home in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 8 2017. | Thomson Reuters Foundation/Filippo Brachetti

Life In Refugee Camps

More than a political buzzword, refugees are real people with real fears driving their decisions, and they take great risks to protect their families. A glimpse into the lives of immigrants living in refugee camps reveals their hunger for human rights and an opportunity to start over.

What You Can Do

Learn more about the topics covered in this episode with the following organizations:

  • 2020-08-07T06:30:00-07:00
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Adapting to Climate Change

Climate change affects us all, and less-developed communities, that are more closely tied to the land, often suffer more directly from environmental transformation. The changes include dramatic fluctuation of water sources, diminishing crop yields, and failure of long-held farming techniques. Discover how community leaders are adjusting, engaging with the international community and seeking innovative methods and new technologies to find sustainable ways of living.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes

People all over the world are confronting traditional norms around gender and sexuality that are difficult to break. Despite opposition and discrimination from their communities, these people are armed with the courage to truly be themselves. The small steps people take to assert their role in society, can result in major leaps for future generations.

Storytelling Across the Globe

Virtual reality experiences, comic books, and architectural mapping are all forms of storytelling being used by artists and activists around the world to raise awareness of social problems. From calling out sexual assault in India to documenting war crimes in Gaza, these modes of communication are connecting people to issues across the world.

The Resilience of Children

The future of our communities lies in protecting our most vulnerable yet most resilient members: our children. But often, children are the first victims of war and poverty. Many face horrifying events and live with the trauma for the rest of their lives. Despite this, some children survive these events to become leaders of their communities and voices for peace.

  • 2020-09-02T17:30:00-07:00
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