LEBANON / SYRIAN REFUGEES SPAIN

15-Oct-2020 00:02:21
After his family fled Syria, Ghaith had to drop out of school in Lebanon to help his family earn enough to get by. Now he has a chance of a new start in Spain and a dream to someday play for Real Madrid. UNHCR
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STORY: LEBANON / SYRIAN REFUGEES SPAIN
TRT: 2:21
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: 18 SEPTEMBER 2020, BEIRUT, LEBANON
SHOTLIST
18 SEPTEMBER 2020, BEIRUT, LEBANON

1. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ghaith Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“I'm Ghaith. I'm going to Spain just to play football.”
2. Wide shot, Ghaith shooting at goal
3. Wide shots, Ghaith dribbling football to goal
4. Tracking, Samer and children pushing wagon on street
5. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Samer Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“I have health issues, so my two young children help me push the cart. They deliver to customers because I can’t go to the 6th or 7th floors in buildings with no lifts. They work hard with me.”
6. Various shots, Samer and children pushing cart
7. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Samer Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“Today we ate, it’s possible tomorrow we won’t eat. Regardless if we eat or not, I have to put away the rent.”
8. Med shot, family standing by cart
9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Samer Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“It’s like we are reborn. I want to raise my children from scratch.”
10. Med shot, Samer speaking to customer
11. Close up, Samer’s son shouting for fruits and vegetables
12. Various shots, family selling fruits and vegetables
13. Close up, Ghaith sitting at home with brothers
14. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Samer Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“He still dreams of visiting the Real Madrid stadium and taking photos with Benzema.”
15. Close up, Ghaith putting on cleats
16. Tilt down, Ghaith putting on cleats
17. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Samer Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“I used to tell him it is impossible for you to go to those countries.”
18. Tracking, Samer and children pushing cart
STORYLINE
After his family fled Syria, Ghaith had to drop out of school in Lebanon to help his family earn enough to get by. Now he has a chance of a new start in Spain and a dream to someday play for Real Madrid.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ghaith Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“I'm Ghaith. I'm going to Spain just to play football.”

Like many boys his age, 13-year-old Ghaith is obsessed with football, and in particular his favourite team Real Madrid.

Circumstances forced the child to leave school and help the family earn a living.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Samer Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“I have health issues, so my two young children help me push the cart. They deliver to customers because I can’t go to the 6th or 7th floors in buildings with no lifts. They work hard with me.”

The family fled the war in Syria to Lebanon after receiving death threats and could barely making ends meet in Beirut.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Samer Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“Today we ate, it’s possible tomorrow we won’t eat. Regardless if we eat or not, I have to put away the rent.”

Samer’s family was identified by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) for resettlement to a third country due to multiple vulnerabilities including children out of school

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Samer Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“It’s like we are reborn. I want to raise my children from scratch.”

Despite the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, resettlement numbers remain very limited. For Ghaith and his family, it’s a dream come true.
He has often asked his father if they could one day visit the Spanish capital’s famous Santiago Bernabéu stadium, where the team plays its home games.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Samer Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“He still dreams of visiting the Real Madrid stadium and taking photos with Benzema.”

But as Syrian refugees living in an impoverished neighbourhood of the Lebanese capital Beirut, with Samer barely earning enough from selling vegetables to keep a roof over their heads. He did not want to give his eldest son false hope.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Samer Mohammed, Syrian refugee:
“I used to tell him it is impossible for you to go to those countries.”

The family recently flew to Madrid as part of a group of Syrian refugees whose resettlement to Spain had been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNHCR said resettlement represents a vital, and at times truly lifesaving solution for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees who face threats to their safety, freedom and wellbeing in their country of asylum, whether due to lack of status or residency, extreme poverty, illness, child labour or other protection concerns.

At the same time, the chance of a fresh start in a new country is only open to a small fraction of those in need. Out of more than 20 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, around 1.4 million are assessed as being in need of resettlement, while only around 7 per cent end up getting that chance. The number of refugees resettled has dwindled even further during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many receiving countries closing their borders to contain the spread of the virus or reducing the number of resettlement places available.
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