A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Everyday in the news, we see, hear, and read countless headlines about refugees. It’s usually something about refugees migrating throughout Europe or sailing in the Mediterranean sea. We’ve seem to forgotten that these refugees are humans just like us.

They’re just like us- they have family,  they have friends, they fall in love, they have hobbies, they have hopes, and they have dreams…. just. like. us.  On paper, they sound like anyone in a typical American community…..except for one thing- they had to flee their native countries because of some reason that caused them to fear their lives.

Brandon Stanton, founder of Humans of New York, recently traveled to the middle east to document the experiences of Syrian refugees. Stanton uploaded numerous photos of Syrians along with captions explaining their stories of escaping Syria and their current living situations. Immediately, people all around the world became captivated by his series.

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There is something so powerful and intimate about seeing a real life image of another human being and hearing their story — even if they are half-way around the world and you have never met them before. Images have the power to really captivate us and cause us to feel some kind of attachment or bond. Brandon Stanton’s photos were an example of effective advocacy not only for Syrian refugees, but for refugees all around the world. So many of my friends who, previously, had no idea of the Syrian Refugee Crisis became so interested…all because of Humans of New York.

Not only was Brandon Stanton able to inform the world about the ongoing problems experienced by refugees because of genocide or political injustice, but he was also successful in starting a petition and raising over $750,000 dollars in just six days! The money raised will go directly to Syrian refugee families.

It is amazing what an impact a simple photograph can have on the world. A picture is really worth a thousand words and it’s so special to see how Brandon Stanton’s photos were able to bring the world community together.




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