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The Enigma of Syria

Esseline van de Sande | Syria

Organization: The Room of Listening

Al Lateef, The Gentle One

The Enigma of Syria

Life along the Euphrates often is referred to as the craddle of civilisation. But life at its banks is tough, requires determination, endurance and, above all, a constant collaboration. Now, in these dark times for the Syrian people, it is this spirit of perseverance that they need to draw on in the troublesome daily struggle in Syria and the many refugee camps in the region.

The aim of this exhibition is to give the audience a different view on the Syrian people in times of peace and war. The documentary is a reminder of the generosity and wisdom of the inhabitants of Syria. Their continous struggle and resourcefulness in dealing with bare conditions of draught, limited resources and now in already seven years of war.

While dark images of war dominate our imagination, they also stand in the way of connecting to the people. Alternatively, let's  connect with the Syrian light, beauty and humor of the many women, men and children working together in the hope of a better future, day after day.

This exhibit derives its inspiration from my first book published in 2005 (in Dutch: Vaartocht over de Eufraat, twee vrouwen, een kajak en vele ontmoetingen; in English: Adrift on the Euphrates: Two women, one kayak and many encounters.)

The exhibit pictures were made during:

1. Voyage on the Euphrates 2009 (Ain al Arab - Assad lake)-2010 (Deir-ez-Zawr - Tell Salhyie)

2. Field trips for Waka Waka and to Helping Refugees in Jordan 2013-2014

Writings /blogs see The Room of Listening Wordpress

The Key

45 Words for Love

In Peace, In War

Alternative Roads to Peace in Syria

Enigma of Syria

'In each encounter I try to focus on the light.The other is you.'

Esseline van de Sande received the Joan Ferrier Award in May 2016 for her continuous work buidling bridges between the western society and the Middle-East, especially in reference to the Syrian refugees.



Waka Waka Foundation 

Blog  Light on Light

Helping Refugees in Jordan  

Blogs My name is Syria & 280 pair of shoes 


Esseline van de Sande

About Esseline




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