December 6, 2014

The Most Important Thing


credit: Brian Sokol. Refugee in Iraq via Damascus
"What would you bring with you if you had to flee your home and escape to another country? More than 1 million Syrians have been forced to ponder this question before making the dangerous journey to neighbouring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq or other countries in the region.

This is the second part of a project (from photographer Brian Sokol) that asks refugees from different parts of the world, 'What is the most important thing you brought from home?' The first chapter focused on refugees fleeing from Sudan to South Sudan, who openly carried pots, water containers and other objects to sustain them along the road." Source: Panos Pictures UK's website


The young girl pictured was able to bring the bracelets she is displaying. They are not her most important thing, however. That would be her doll. But she wasn't able to grab it when her family had to flee, so she treasures these bracelets as the link to her home.

I keep thinking about what I would take if I had to run for my life, besides the obvious scramble for ID and cash. I should already be wearing my wedding bands. I have pictures stored in my phone. As long as my family is with me, I can't think of anything else.

Am I being cavalier? Probably.

What would you bring with you if you had to flee your home and escape to another country?