Naghm

Naghm

This adorable little girl is Naghm. She is the daughter of Hussein, a 25 year old Syrian friend who was studying English literature at university back home in Syria before fleeing to Turkey. The family now lives, like hundreds of others, in farm camps around Izmir, Turkey.

The day the picture was taken, I and other volunteers headed towards Hussein’s camp to celebrate Iftar with about 18 families families living communally together. We hung around helping them cook, preparing everything before the sunset. By 8:45pm a cannonball somewhere nearby was fired indicating that the fast was over. We all sat down outside the tents, under the light of a single, tiny bulb accompanied by the stars. Every time we were seen with empty cups or not enough chicken or salad on our plates, we were offered more. They wouldn’t stop insisting we ate more until we accepted their offer, their hospitality is always legendary.

It was such an amazing dinner, spending quality time together. Then the tea came, or shay, as it is said in Arabic. It’s an important part of their culture, when everyone just relaxes and talks to each other. We were outside under the night sky, Hussein was telling us amazing stories of life in Syria. We shared conversations and asked each other questions, curious to learn about aspects of our cultures that were different from each other. There was a moment when I saw shy little Naghm looking around with these beautiful, curious eyes. While sitting quietly in her father’s lap, I couldn’t help but want to capture this moment. It was an incredible evening that will never be forgotten.

Story shared by Eduardo Velázquez Jurado