As part of Refugee Week, an online photo exhibition exploring the meaning of the house has begun.

A digital gallery set up by the United Kingdom for UNHCR, the United Kingdom’s national philanthropic partner at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, reveals what a home means to those forced to escape the war.

The (new) Home Exhibition Gallery will be held as part of this year’s Refugee Week (June 20-26), but will be available for submission during the summer.


Caled, a refugee from Syria, submitted his portrait in traditional Syrian clothing, Al Arada Arshamiya. (UK for UNHCR / PA)

Photos have been submitted by a variety of people, including refugees, children’s toys loved by their families, and photos of their parents’ dishes.

Eid, a refugee from Damascus, Syria, submitted a portrait of himself sitting on a projection of water, as he was most relaxed when swimming, despite experiencing trauma during his trip to the United Kingdom.

He states:

“This was despite the fact that during the trip from Syria to the United Kingdom, the boat was detained and left in the sea for four hours.

“For me, this picture shows how I was able to turn my fear of water into a strength by training as a swimmer after arriving in the UK.

“Reflection represents the trauma of my journey from Syria, but it also represents a positive feeling and I hope we feel a better future for Britain.”

Meanwhile, a 20-year-old student and refugee, Haya, decided to photograph the jasmine flower, which is the national flower of Syria and is reminiscent of her home country.

“Anyone who visits Damascus will find this particular flower everywhere in the city,” Haya said.

“Smell literally falls in love with the city.

“Most of the locals will say that jasmine flowers are their favorite of the place.

“There are a lot of pictures that I could send. The sea, the sky, the water, the family, everything reminds me of Syria, so I found it difficult to choose just one.”

There are plans to curate the physical version of the exhibition later this year.

We hope that the (new) home gallery will encourage people to think about homes in new and attractive ways and think about what it takes to find a new home after being forced to flee.Emma Cherniavsky

Emma Cherniavsky, UNHCR’s Chief Executive Officer in the United Kingdom, said: Safety and comfort.

“I hope the (new) home gallery encourages people to think about homes in new and attractive ways and think about what it takes to find a new home after being forced to flee.

“Everyone has the right to seek safety, but reaching that safe place is just the beginning.”

To view the (new) home exhibition gallery or send photos, go to / home or search for #WithRefugees # WhatHomeMeans on Twitter.

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