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What a Syrian refugee boy taught two filmmakers about education

Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasi are documentary filmmakers who create immersive films from their experiences in unfamiliar and confronting circumstances. Their most recent project Salam Neighbor took them to a refugee camp in Jordan. Below is an open letter to global citizens everywhere about their experiences. See an exclusive clip of their film above.


Hi, we’re Zach and Chris, and we’re global citizens.

We lived in a tent at the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan for one month while making our film, Salam Neighbor - a feature length film capturing the stories and reality of our new neighbours who lost family, homes, security and schooling when conflict began in Syria 5 years ago.

Neighbors like 10 year old Raouf, our friend and informal guide to Za’atari, have personal stories that are unnecessarily tragic. Raouf loved school and dreams of one day being a doctor.

Raouf in school.jpg

But with his school and neighborhood destroyed by bombs, Raouf’s family fled for Jordan. When we met him, fear paralysed Raouf from wanting to return to school. Now thankfully, through trauma healing and simple learning activities, Raouf is comfortable enough to be back in the classroom.

Syrian, American, British or Sudanese, we are all neighbors who rely on one another. Now our neighbors need our help and that of our leaders for these are stories that are too common around the world.

Right now, $9 billion is needed to ensure that children like Raouf, get a quality education they deserve. Sign the petition and call on World Leaders to come together at the World Humanitarian Summit and prioritize education in emergencies funding for children.

Want to do more for kids like Raouf? Go to salamneighbor.org


The views expressed here are not necessarily those of each of the partners of Global Citizen.