These Aspirational Photos of Syrian Girls Will Make Your Day

February 3rd 2016

Laura Donovan

Inspiring images of Syrian girls dressed up as their ideal future selves is going viral on social media with the International Rescue Committee's Vision Not Victim project.

On behalf of the initiative, photographer Meredith Hutchison recently visited refugee camps in Jordan and asked the girls there to draw pictures of their dream lives and careers now that they have fled the war in Syria, BuzzFeed News reported this week. She asked them what their hopes and dreams are, and photographed them in outfits pertaining to their future jobs.

These powerful and energetic photos provide a sense of hope, as these girls never stopped believing in themselves despite facing extreme adversity and unrest so early in life. Here are some uplifting images of refugee girls envisioning their adult selves.

1. Merwa, 13, future artist

"When I was younger, painting was a hobby — but as I grew older I saw I had a great talent and went to art school," 13-year-old Merwa told the International Rescue Committee. "Now I have my own gallery where I sell my paintings and sculptures. My hope is that my artwork inspires peace in the world and encourages people to be kind to one another."

2. Amani, 10, future pilot

"I love planes," the 10-year-old said, told the IRC. "Even before I had ever been on a plane, I knew I wanted to be a pilot. Flying is adventurous and exciting. When I was younger, my brother always told me that a girl can’t be a pilot, but I knew deep down this is what I wanted to do. I finished my studies and found a way to get to flight school. Now, not only do I get to live my dream, but I also get to help people travel, to see the world, and discover new places.”

3. Nesrine, 11, police officer

"Now that I am a policewoman, I help many people who are in danger or trouble, and I encourage young girls to get their education so that they can reach their goals,” she said.

4. Rama, 13, future physician


A photo posted by Eric Fleet (@erict4t) on

“Walking down the street as a young girl in Syria or Jordan, I encountered many people suffering — sick or injured — and I always wanted to have the power and skills to help them," she said. "Now, as a great physician in my community, I have that ability. Easing someone’s pain is the most rewarding aspect of my job. To be able to give them relief and make them smile — this is what I love most.”

5. Haja, 12, future astronaut


A photo posted by Kulsoom Rizvi (@soomielado) on

"Ever since we studied the solar system in primary school, I have wanted to be an astronaut," the 12-year-old said. "I would imagine myself up in the sky discovering new things. I love being an astronaut because it lets me see the world from a new angle. In this society, my path was not easy -- many people told me a girl can't become an astronaut. Now that I have achieved my goals, I would tell young girls with aspirations to not be afraid, to talk to their parents about what they want and why, to always be confident and to know where you want to go."

6. Fatima, 16, future architect

"I’ve always wanted to be an architect. Yet, when I was young people told me that this is not something a woman could achieve, and they encouraged me to pursue a more ‘feminine’ profession," the 16-year-old said. "But I dreamt constantly of making beautiful homes for families, and designing buildings that bring people joy. Now that I’ve reached my vision, I hope I am a model for other girls — showing them that you should never give up on your dream — no matter what others say."

Educating Syrian refugee children is a serious concern.

There's a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure that these children's dreams come true. Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai recently started a campaign titled #NotLost, which raises money to educate refugee children. A report by the Malala Fund found that roughly 700,000 Syrian children in Jordan and Lebanon refugee camps do not have access to school. This not only hurts the refugee children, but future innovation and progress. After all, certain refugees, such as Albert Einstein, Elie Weisel, and Fryderyk Chopin, have gone on to do great things and change the world.


"I have met so many Syrian refugee children, they are still in my mind," Yousafzai, who famously took a bullet for promoting education several years ago, told Reuters in a recent interview. "I can't forget them. The thought that they won't be able to go to school in their whole life is completely shocking and I cannot accept it."

To learn more about Malala's fight to educate Syrian refugees, check out this ATTN: video:



How can we expect a generation of uneducated refugees to rebuild a nation? Malala Yousafzai explains. #NotLost

Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, February 3, 2016


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