emine akbaba
Beyond dreams and hopes is the story of one individual Syrian family who lived days after days in fear and misery and now try to start a new life in Mardin, a city in southeastern Turkey, after they have escaped the war at night. It is the struggle for survival of a mother and her daughters. Thousands of people have fled to Turkey, which borders Syria, in search security. The United Nations estimate that more than 220.000 people have been killed (between March 2011 and March 2015). Many million people have fled from Syria since the beginning of the war. Especially women and children. In crisis areas, it is often women and children who suffer most and experience violence, including rape and sexual slavery.
The whole family have mental wounds of the war. Mostly the 13-years-old Eye. Nightmares have been plaguing her ever since then. After she has seen with own eyes how the people are beheaded in Aleppo on open street. Love and the feeling of security. That is what Eye needs. Her Mother is sad about her situation. If she sees her daughter sad she takes her near herself and strokes over her head. She whispers some prayers.
"At night. Everybody flees at night. During the day no one can escape. Otherwise you will be shot dead”, says Turkiye. It was a cold and a rainy night. Eye complete my project by drawing their experiences and memories on the pictures from that night.
Eye sits alone most of the time. She does not want to speak with anyone. The war changed her very much. Her look seems faraway.
Peace. This has been written on Eye´s hand. They want to go back to their beloved home.
Ruba got married. Even the wedding was a big celebration, there is not an official certificate of marriage. She has seen her husband, who is ten years older than her, only a few times before the wedding. Ever since than her daughter Ruba is living with his family and can´t see her Family anytime she wants to. The groom´s family does not allow to visit her mother and sisters anymore. The dowry she got for her daughter is the only source of income. The food stamps, she got from the Turkish government are not enough to feed her daughters, have forced the mother to the wedding.
Syrian children have been the forgotten victims of the horrific war, since the beginning of the conflict. Today, over 5 million children are in need of assistance, including over 1 million Syrian children who have sought refuge in neighboring countries. A "lost generation" what these children are at risk of becoming. They cannot be ignored.
According to the new figures from the United Nations is there is an alarming rise in the number of Syrian refugee girls being forced into early marriages. Meanwhile, the number of Turkish men having ‘religious marriages’ (also called imam marriages) with Syrian women have increased dramatically even ‘imam marriages’ are against the law in Turkey, as well as marrying girls under the age of 18.
Turkiye feels under pressure. After her husband died, is she mother and father for her daughters. She has been taking medication for sedation to be able to sleep. Otherwise she stays up all night, smokes one cigarette after another, wondering how the situation of her children is going to be.


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