Monthly Archives

February 2014

The slight 30 year-old can’t be taller than five feet, with delicate bones and pale skin.  But despite her apparent fragility, Yasmine is about to prove her strength.  She enters the small office where we are meeting for the first time with a timid smile.  We’re in a city in northern Jordan, close to the border, interviewing Syrians who’ve sought refuge from the catastrophic violence that’s engulfed their country.

Yasmine covers her face for our interview.  Her in-laws are still in Syria, and speaking to media puts them at risk for retribution, especially with what she is about to tell us.  Yasmine is from eastern Ghouta, which some will recognize as the location of the horrifying chemical weapons attack that put Bashar Al-Assad’s regime under intense pressure from the international community and the U.S.  Up to 1,700 of victims died in Ghouta on August 21st, 2013, including hundreds of children and babies.  Her own husband was killed by the gas while trying to take a neighbor’s son to the hospital.  Yasmine tries to describe the chaos and death, calling that night “Judgment Day”.  She and her two children escaped the non-stop shelling and managed to find their way to Jordan.

Six months later, she’s still ravaged by grief, but hasn’t allowed herself to be weighed down with anger at the unfairness of her husband’s death.  Instead, every day she goes to work, recording the deaths of refugees family members.  The organization she is part of has amassed a catalog of thousands of deaths, complete with photos of injuries and detailed descriptions of the event.  They aim to collect this evidence so Bashar can be put on trial and will have no way to deny his crimes.  To the hundreds of refugees in Jordan that she’s helped, Yasmine is a blessing.  There is relief in knowing that the deaths of their loved ones are being recorded and acknowledged, and will not be forgotten if their killer is tried.  Despite her own losses, she is helping an entire community cope with theirs.

Help give Yasmine a platform to tell her story.  Donate to our project.

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What do you think of when you wake up in the morning?

Me? I don’t even sleep, I don’t sleep. I stay awake all night and when I sleep I wake up very, very tired and all I think of is going back, but I have a sick husband and there aren’t hospitals there. I’m forced to stay here, though I actually can’t stand still here. When I wake up in the morning, I want to explode. That’s my situation in the morning.

Aisha, mother & grandmother from Dara’a, Syria. Her son disappeared into Syrian prison, so she covered her face during our interview to protect him from retribution. We interviewed Aisha as part of our project recording the stories of Syrian refugees.

Aisha, 46, is a Syrian mother and grandmother living in Amman, Jordan.

Aisha, 46, is a Syrian mother and grandmother living in Amman, Jordan.

3 Generations founder Jane Wells has just returned from Berlin, where she has been since Friday. As you may know, the reason for her visit was the screening of her father Sidney Bernstein’s unfinished documentary, originally called ‘Memory of the Camps’ but now going by ‘German Concentration Camps Factual Survey‘. The film was shown twice at the festival, on Sunday and then again on Tuesday, following a screening of a new companion documentary called ‘Night Will Fall‘. The importance of this project to 3 Generations cannot be overstated, it is an integral part of the story of our foundation. This was the first public showing of the film since it was broadcast by PBS in 1985, and it has since been augmented and completed. By all accounts, the screenings were a success and the footage still has the power to move, shock and disturb.

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3 Generations founder, Jane Wells, attended the screening of her father’s film at the 64th Berlinale.

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The Berlin Holocaust Memorial

1779331_10152140456640862_1242850034_nLast week was a big one for TRICKED, with the Super Bowl leading to a fresh wave of press interest in human trafficking. On Thursday Jane and Danielle appeared on the Katie Couric show,  HuffPo Live AND Al-Jazeera America to discuss the issue. They also appeared on PBS NewsHour, MSNBC Live, BBC Radio Sportshour on Saturday, AND on CBS News on Sunday!  Jane and JK were interviewed by PBS, and the film was also mentioned on Newsday and Deadspin. If you missed any of this, take a look!

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