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Return to Homs Shows the Journey from Peaceful Revolution to Armed Struggle

Director Talal Derki discusses his new documentary on the Syrian war, and its unique impact on one particular city.

The film's protagonist, Abdul Basset Saroot.

Talal Derki’s Return to Homs, a documentary about a soccer player-turned-protester-turned-revolutionary fighter in Syria, captures on film the tragedy of one of the most devestating human events of our generation. The Syrian revolution, which began on the hopes and dreams of peaceful protesters in 2011, has in the years since become a terrifying and relentless war that has not only taken countless lives but also demolished entired cities in the Levantine country. Return to Homs’ young protagonist, Abdul Basset Saroot, represents one of millions of young men and women who first burst out onto the street in unarmed demonstrations, calling for an end to the dictatorship of Bashar Al-Assad, but were then forced to take up arms when the regime responded with bullets and bombs.

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Malala Yousafzai Celebrates Her Birthday in the Best Way Possible

The Nobel Peace Prize Winner decided it was more important to give, than get, a gift this year.

Image via Flickr user DFID

Most teenagers celebrate their birthdays in the same way: by getting drunk, eating gross food, and complaining. But Malala Yousafzai, the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, decided to throw a slightly different kind of party. This Sunday, Malala celebrated her 18th birthday by opening a brand new school for Syrian girl refugees desperate for an education.

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Teenage Syrian Refugee Rappers Forge Music Out of Struggle

The boys of Syrian Dream are hoping that they might one day tour the world.

Four young Syrian boys are taking their emotions from struggling with displacement and channeling it into music. Their rap group, Syrian Dream, is based out of Alexandria, where they have been living for the past few years after being forced to flee their hometown of Damascus. Armed only with a flute, the boys beatbox and sing lyrics that depict the harsh journeys that one must undertake in order to escape the ongoing civil war in Syria, such as travelling across the Mediterranean on rickety boats.

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Meet Syria’s All-Women Rescue Team

These women don white helmets and run into bomb-blasted buildings to save lives.

Image via the White Helmet's IndieGogo page.

Bombs continue to fall in Syria, and in rebel-held areas, emergency-response teams are composed of inexperienced volunteers and NGO workers. Many work for Syria Civil Defence, a volunteer-led effort to save people from bomb blasts and provide medical care. They’re referred to as “White Helmets,” for their distinguishable headgear. Last October, the group began recruiting women for the first time, taking them to Turkey for medical training and instruction in emergency response protocols and techniques. They can perform search and rescue missions and even operate as paramedics.

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An Exhibit Features the Photography of Refugee Children in Lebanon

500 cameras were distributed to children in the refugee camps.

Image via UNICEF Lebanon's Facebook page.

New technologies and the internet give us the agency to tell our own stories: from broadcasting a tweet to posting a selfie to penning a Tumblr post. More than ever, we’re allowed control over our own narratives. However, the immediacy and availabilty of these channels allow us to forget that many people don’t have access to the same resources. Displaced peoples, victims of violence, and the underprivileged—their stories get told by other people: journalists, relief workers and politicians. A new project sponsored by UNICEF, however, puts the power of story-telling right back in the hands of Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

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You Can’t Print a Photo from Outer Space On Polyester

Celine Semaan Vernon’s new fashion project is a cosmic experiment in empathy.

Designer Celine Semaan Vernon made fans of fashion devotees and NASA scientists alike when she debuted her Mars-inspired Slow Factory collection. The collection’s scarves were silk-screened with open-source NASA images of everyone’s favorite little red planet. And the Mars, Revealed scarves were not just beautiful—they were also sustainably manufactured.

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