What if we lived in a world where we thought of everyone as our neighbors? A world where those things we call borders didn’t stop us from thinking people are worthy of aid, love, and understanding just because they live outside the boundaries of our nation.
In Salam Neighbor (Salam or Salaam means peace in Arabic) (from the same creators of Living on One Dollar) film makers spend time inside the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) allows the filmmakers to set up a tent inside the refugee camp just like the roughly 80,000 Syrian refugees that live there. Many of the refugees have been there since 2012 and are trying to carry on with their lives the best they can by creating art or starting businesses. The film makers interact with several people while in the camp including a young boy. It is through their stories that you get an idea about what life has been like for them since the war began in Syria. The film highlights the emotional, psychological, educational and financial challenges faced by the refugees.
Most of all you get the human perspective of an issue that is connected with fear and anger. Refugees are too often seen as a “problem” instead of human beings who are trying to rebuild their lives. By watching this film people will have a deeper understanding of the issues faced by refugees.
Salam Neighbor is available on Netflix or Amazon.
- Ask students how to solve this global issue. Should countries accept more refugees? What could be done to help the refugees establish a life elsewhere?
- Have students design their own refugee camp. Ask them to consider all of the needs that refugees might have while in the camp.