Syrian refugees launch social media storm on Twitter

'I am a refugee': Syrians share their stories of home and abroad on Twitter
2 min read
30 November, 2021
Syrian refugees have been sharing their stories on Twitter in an attempt to raise awareness about their plight and denounce increasingly repressive policies against refugees.
Refugees are sharing their stories on Twitter under the Arabic hashtag 'I am a refugee' [Anadolu/Getty]

Hundreds of Syrian refugees shared their stories of refuge on Twitter over the past two days under the Arabic-language hashtag "I am a refugee".

The campaign launched on Sunday and is ongoing. It gained traction over the past two days as Syrian refugees shared their stories in several languages, to raise awareness about their plight and protest the increasing pushback experienced by refugees across the world.

"I was between death under torture, as happened to three of my brothers, or becoming a refugee. I became a refugee to claim justice for my brothers," tweeted a Syrian activist now living in France. 

Syria's war has left at least 500,000 people dead and driven millions out of the country since the conflict erupted in 2011. The war was triggered by Assad's brutal repression of nationwide protests against his regime in 2011, which degenerated into open armed conflict between opposition groups and the Syrian army. 

Users widely shared photos and videos of the bombed ruins of their home city and of displacement camps that sprawl across northern Syria to illustrate their plight.

The bulk of Syrian asylum seekers have escaped to neighbouring countries, smuggling themselves over the border to Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.

Syrians have sought asylum on every continent but face increasing pressures to return amid rising anti-refugee sentiments in Europe, Turkey, and Lebanon, and increasingly restrictive asylum policies.

Denmark recently deemed Syria "safe" for returns to regime-held areas of the country, despite human rights groups' warnings that returnees faced arbitrary arrest and torture.