A Syrian Time Capsule 

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Refugees experience loss on a massive scale; loss of family, friends, community, property and most importantly the loss of belonging and home. We carry our home within us. Home for refugees can be anything, a song, a type of tea, a language, or a physical item we own which acts as an active reminder of where we come from. Those items carry memories of people and places, memories of childhood and love stories. They carry an image of a place that once we called home. I am a master student at the University of Glasgow studying Global migration and social justice. In my dissertation I wanted to explore the narrative of other refugees who brought objects on their journeys and what are the significance of those objects is with the meaning that people attached to those items. 

 

The idea of the project is inspired by my personal story of an item I carried with me from my home in Damascus and the feelings it brings back every time I set eyes on it in my new home in the UK. It is not only a constant reminder of the life I had back in Syria but also a piece of hope I hold within me to return to a lost homeland. 

 

The primary purpose of this project is to provide a space for refugee participants to explore their items and a space for telling the stories of the objects they have chosen to carry with them to the host countries. The significance of these objects is identified in their representation of hope and sometimes pain for their owners. Some participants said that lost homelands have been reduced to these objects, the exhibition’s participants tell their stories in a way they found suitable and took a picture to share with the world. 

The Almond Tree

شجرة اللوز

'When I left Syria years ago, I tried to pack everything I can, every little space in my bag was filled with things. I brought many of my memories with me.'

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Keyboard and Mouse
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Childhood Love

حب الطفولة

'The sentiment of the letter was something I knew I needed to carry with me'

Mug in a Dinghy

فنجان في قارب

'This mug is the only thing that I chose to bring with me on my journey.'

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حلو المرّ

Bittersweet

'Sugarless coffee with cardamom, A special drink, with astonishing aroma, and stunning intense smell.'

The Magic Carpet

'I kept this carpet as a sign of my oriental roots which are colourful, happy, and welcoming.'

البساط السحري

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The Jasmine Thief

سارق الياسمين

'I chose the thing that would connect me with Damascus the most, I chose to pick Jasmine flowers.'

Coffee Across Borders

قهوة عبر الحدود

'In my suitcase, I parked the coffee pot and some cardamom seeds and some spices when I left, I thought I wouldn't find those things in the new place.'

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My Paper Companion

صديق من ورق

'A bag full of memories, the smallest object in my suitcase held the most powerful meanings.'

Home in a Tent

وطن في خيمة

'When I left my country I brought the tent with me, and I was so happy to have it here.'

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Chemical Flashbacks

ذكريات كيميائية

'The flashbacks take me back to home, to where I lived my best memories yet when they end, and I realise that I won’t be able to ever relive anything like that again.'

Lisa Rose

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Ashley Jones

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Travelling Blessings

البركات المسافرة

؛The Quran is connected in my mind with calm and the dwelling of my grandmother's face.؛

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Strings of my Heart

أوتار الروح

'I had to pack my life in a rucksack and walk away from everything, forever.'

Cornerstone

حجر الزاوية

'To me, my father was the cornerstone of the house. Losing him was my greatest loss. '

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Tess Brown

Office Manager

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Tess Brown

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Digital Memories

ذكريات رقمية

؛They are the treasure I have and the string which connect me to my past and life in my country I feel I would lose part of my history if I lost them.؛

All the data for this exhibition is gathered by Rasha Youssef a Master student at the University of Glasgow as part of her dissertation. This project has Ethical Approval from the University of Glasgow College of Social Sciences Ethics Committee

If you have any queries please contact 2460648Y@student.gla.ac.uk. All data can be viewed online but not downloaded or modified.