AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — “Waiting at the Door” is the name Akram Shibly has given to his documentary on the plight of Syrian refugees currently in camps in the Middle East.
He traveled to the camps in Jordan recently with his father and sister.
One camp in particular houses children and mothers who lost fathers and husbands.
At his editing bay, Akram translated the testimonies of young boys he videotaped.
“We had a beautiful childhood, but with time, war came. The air strikes. The problems came. It was no longer beautiful. It was ruined.”
The most heartbreaking part of this journey, he said, was seeing the stories of children who lost their fathers.
“A lot of them, with losing their fathers, have lost their sense of their childhood,” he said.
Akram says his purpose is not so much to show lost lives. Rather, he says, it’s to show how Syrian refugees who were trained in a profession are helping the children rebuild their lives.
They can do this, says Akram, in any country that will take them in.
“They have the ability to take care of themselves as long as they have a safe place to be. They will work on educating their fellow refugees,” he said.
He wants to the see the United States play a greater role in taking them in. He says people should not be afraid to embrace them.
“Their ultimate goal is not isn’t to just flood our borders and take our jobs, but their goal is to rebuild hope and return home,” he said.