Compelling news from the refugee and migrant sector
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Images of mums bring home the tragedy of refugee crisis

7 September 20150 comments

A compelling series of pictures of new mothers and their babies has put a human face on the refugee tragedy that is unfolding in Syria as tens of thousands of people brave deadly land and sea routes into Europe.

The Associated Press’ chief photographer for the Middle East Muhammed Muheisen has highlighted the challenges faced by some of the most vulnerable among the human tide of refugees: mothers and children.

Mr Muheisen has committed years to documenting the spiralling crisis and has spoken with hundreds of the four million people who have spilled out of Syria in the past two years.

He particularly focused on pregnant women, photographing them both before and after giving birth.

He says they all told him of the hardships of childbirth in the setting of a refugee camp; of worries about what they’ll feed their newborn babies and, of feeling abandoned.

An image from Muhammed Muheisen's collection of Feedah Ali

An image from Muhammed Muheisen’s collection of Feedah Ali.

Syrian mums pic2

Wadhah Hamada with her new born baby, also taken by Muhammed Muheisen.

One set of pictures shows Syrian refugee Feedah Ali, 18, posing while pregnant and again after giving birth to her child, at an informal tented settlement on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan.

“We left Syria two years ago with nothing and today we have nothing, I wish someone could turn to us, help us, take us out of our misery,” Feedah told Muheisen.

Another set shows Syrian refugee Wadhah Hamada, 22, also posing before and after giving birth.

Wadhah told Muheisen: “winter is so cold, summer is hot and dry. My husband hardly works and some of the decisions we had to make have been deciding what is more important: To buy bread to feed ourselves or medicine in case my child is in need?”



Take a look at the full set of Muheisen’s images.


Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist