This Week in Refugee News

June 2, 2017

Each week we collect the most interesting, inspiring and innovative refugee stories from around the world to share with you. Here are this week’s picks:

Watch the Movements of Every Refugee on Earth Since 2000 (via Fast Company)

The story we tell ourselves about the refugee crisis is often very different from reality, and data visualization may help break through these prevailing misconceptions.

Illah Nourbakhsh, Director of the Community Robotics, Education, and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Lab at Carnegie Mellon University advocates for the use of animated, interactive visualization of data as, “an interesting shortcut into your brain, where the visual evidence is more rhetorically compelling than any graph or chart that I show you.”

Read the rest of the article and see if you really know where refugees are from and where they go.

Introducing ‘Searching for Syria,’ a Project Made in Partnership With UNHCR (via Google)

What are the 5 most commonly searched questions about the Syrian Crisis? A new website explores the most common search queries and uncovers details behind the answers, combining UNHCR data with Google Maps, satellite imagery, videos, photography and stories from refugees.

Explore the new site, and see for yourself the staggering and heartbreaking changes in Syria.

Convoy with UNHCR Aid Reaches Isolated Syrian Town (via USA for UNHCR)

After nearly a year without aid, 44,000 residents of the small farming town of Jayrud, Syria are given a new sense of hope with the delivery of food and medicine.

“We hadn’t received aid since June last year and we had nothing. There was no rice, bulgur wheat or oil to cook for our children,” Muhammed, father of four, told visiting UNHCR staff.

Muhammed and his family fled Damascus in 2012 and have spent five years stranded in Jayrud, living in a mosque and struggling to get by.

Cannes: Alejandro G. Inarritu Goes to the Heart of the Refugee Crisis With VR Installation (via Hollywood Reporter)

Oscar-winning director Alejandro Inarritu, famous for films Birdman and Babel, premiered the first ever Virtual Reality film at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible), runs just over six minutes, and “takes viewers literally to the heart of the refugee crisis by putting them in the shoes, and under the skin, of immigrants trying to cross the Mexican border into the U.S.”

Read more about the installation and development of the film.

Neil Gaiman Will do a Reading of The Cheesecake Factory Menu if we Raise $500k for Refugees (via Crowdrise)

Comedian and author Sara Benincasa (@SaraJBenincasa) proposed a simple, yet somewhat quirky challenge to UN Refugee Agency Goodwill Ambassador Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself): If she raised $500,000 to help refugees, he would have to recite the entire Cheesecake Factory menu. Neil Gaiman took the challenge.

Now here is your chance to help refugees and hopefully see Neil Gaiman read a menu!