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Telling The Real Stories
The stories tell of realistic possibilities that are not sugarcoated by hopeful dreams.
"Telling the real story" is an awareness campaign made by the UNHCR in collaboration with IEFTA to highlight the dangers and uncertainties of illegal immigration. The stories tell of realistic possibilities that are not sugarcoated by hopeful dreams. Each story tells of different reasons and different outcomes for this dreadful journey.
Story 1: Nura and Zahra As captivating and beautiful traditions can be, they can also come from a place of deep-rooted ignorance and misconceptions. And these harmful practices can be enough to drive people far away from home, even under the worst circumstances. In a short film set in the village of Gash-Barka in Eritrea, Nura is determined to save her young cousin, Zahra, from the horrific practice of female genital mutilation. Zahra, initially planning to migrate to study in Europe, found it the perfect opportunity to take her cousin with her. And from there, they walk together on a road as sharp as the blade they escaped. Unaware of the journey ahead, Nura and Zahra faced greedy and violent smugglers, torture, kidnapping, and food and water scarcity. The video aims to show how illegal immigration is not easy or set. Smugglers can change plans, ask for more money, or kidnap people for ransom. Borders can be heavily surveilled, and immigrants can be arrested at any point. Moreover, victims are prone to hunger, malnutrition or starvation, and diseases. The video style follows one setting jumping to the next, depicting the multiple events they have been through. The script is written through the voice and thoughts of Nura as she narrates her and Zahra's journey. Despite the hardships and abuse they faced, Nura and Zahra were taken into foster care, waiting hopefully for a better future. And even though their ending is much better than others and the wounds may heal on their bodies, the mental scars and hunting memories will always linger.
Story 2: Amina and Sahra No one risks death by sea except if the risk on land is definite. Born in poverty and forced to give up school to provide for her family, Amina is consumed by the idea of leaving home but quickly pulls herself back to reality. However, after coming home one night and finding her father selling her off to an old man for marriage, the decision to escape becomes the only solution to save herself. Amina travels with her close friend Sahra and embarks on an uncertain journey filled with ruthless smugglers and an unmerciful sea. During their trip, a storm destroyed the ill-equipped boat, and they got separated by the shore. The first half of the video shows a better chance of survival through Amina's story, where after a lot of hardship, dealing with unethical smugglers, and going through a shooting at one of the borders, she achieved her dream of going to school. However, Sahra's story shows the ugly side of reality: after she was separated, she was kidnapped by smugglers, waiting for her unknown fate. The story was narrated by Amina's mother; her words and tone were filled with worry and regret.