Monday, March 26, 2018

Teach the Syrian Civil War & Refugee Crisis

The Syrian Civil War has created one of the worst refugee crisis since World War II. By 2017, over five million Syrians had become refugees. Here are some terrific resources for teaching both the civil war and the humanitarian crisis.
  • Searching for Syria  is an interactive website developed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Google. It shows what Syria looked like before the war.  It explains the difference between a refugee and an migrant. And it includes personal stories, stunning graphics, and video clips. I created a series of questions for students to answer as they review the site.
  • I am Syria has an excellent website for teaching the Syrian Civil War. It includes a page with 15 short (2 minute) clips about aspects of the war. One clip, for example, explains what a barrel bomb is and another clip explains its effects. Another clip includes drone footage that dramtically shows the devastation in parts of Syria and why so people are leaving. The site includes a student worksheet. You should also check out the powerpoint you can find on this page of the site. It includes excellent images, maps, and video clips as well as a student guide.
  • A number of excellent video clips and short documentaries enhance understanding of the crisis.
    • Three Oscar nominated short documentaries include The White Helmets,  which "follows a group of civilian volunteers in Aleppo who search for and rescue bombing victims." You can stream it on Netflix. It runs about 40 minutes.  4.1 Miles is another short documentary. It follows a Greek sea captain as he ferries migrants to Greece as they cross the Mediterranean. The Last Man in Aleppo is another documentary that follows rescue workers. You can stream it on Netflix.
    • The National Geographic has a longer documentary, over an hour, called Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS.’  The LA Times calls it one of two best documentaries about Syria. It chronicles the civil war and all its horrors. Here's a teaser from NatGeo. It's not available for free but you can buy it on YouTube.

1 comment:

Aaron Edwards said...

Very Interesting and informative information! However, the information about the Syrian Civil War should have been more indepth, where it would have been more appealing for the user to have seen the beginning vs the current Syrian War. Scholars may have been mislead or perceive this information as not scientific, due to the links of a "Netflix series" based off of this war. Despite this, the appearance of the site is very attractive for both expert and novice users to use.