SEVEN SYRIANS - War Accounts from Syrian Refugees by Diego Cupolo


"A voice is missing from the international debate on the Syrian War. Throughout the conflict, world leaders have focused discussions on chemical weapons and radical fundamentalists while the Syrian people, civilians and refugees remain effectively absent from the conversation. Yet, as the war continues without foreseeable end, the simple truth is Syrians are dying and whether through bombs or sarin gas, the largest portion of the casualties are civilian."

"Seven Syrians - War Accounts from Syrian Refugees" captures the stories and struggles of those caught in the middle of the armed conflict currently ravaging Syria. Framed by Diego Cupolo's unerring eye while touring the region, these photographs and first-hand accounts remind us that it is civilians who suffer the brunt of war's atrocities. In a series of humanizing portraits, Diego Cupolo takes us into the lives of those fortunate enough to have survived the conflict decimating their homeland. Forced to flee their homes and families, these men, women and children, teachers, plumbers, engineers, taxi drivers, brothers and sisters no different than ourselves and our neighbours, tell us in their own words of their struggles, triumphs, pains and fortitude and of the monstrosity of war when all of us the world over, seek the same security and opportunities for our children. Read and listen.

"In effort to give a voice to the Syrian people, this collection of seven personal accounts presents the war as experienced through Syrian refugees living in Reyhanlı, a Turkish town that was bombed in May 2013 for hosting a burgeoning refugee population. All interviews were conducted between July and August 2013 and have been adapted as monologues to create seven flowing narratives. The Syrian conflict, like similar uprisings that took root during the 2011 Arab Spring, began as a civil war between an oppressed population and their ruling dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Since then, fighting has become locked in an apparent stalemate, causing more than 100,000 causalities over a two-year period with neither side gaining ground or significant advantage.

"At the same time, the war has drawn involvement from neighboring countries, dividing the Middle East along Sunni-Shiite lines and morphing a national conflict for democracy into a proxy war with implications that could reshape regional and international politics. To further complicate the matter, foreign militias associated with Kurdish groups and Al-Qaeda networks have also entered the conflict with intentions of forming new nations for their own ethnic groups and followers.

"Caught in the battlefield is the Syrian population. More than 2 million civilians have taken refuge in neighboring countries while an additional 4 million have been internally displaced. These migrations have created the largest refugee crisis since 1994 and the numbers continue to rise.

"From beginning to end, it is the Syrian civilian who bares the weight of this conflict. On one shoulder stands the United States with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar while the other holds Russia, Iran, China and Hezbollah. If and when these stacks fall and military intervention is undertaken in Syria, the question remains: Where will the Syrian civilian stand when the dust settles?"


SEVEN SYRIANS: War Accounts from Syrian Refugees by Diego Cupolo
86 pages, ISBN 978-1-926716-26-8
Cover Design © 2013 8th House Publishing

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About the Author
Diego Cupolo began his journalism and photography careers in New York City and has continued his work while residing in Montreal, Quebec and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is the Latin America regional editor for Global South Development Magazine and works on the road as an independent journalist, having reported on Syria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Nicaragua, Peru and Chile. His written and visual work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Associated Press, The Village Voice, The Australian Times, Discover Magazine, The Argentina Independent and Diagonal Periódico.