This graffiti in Syria nails what so many people misunderstand about the refugee crisis

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Tuesday 31 May 2016 16:30
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Graffiti hastily painted onto a wall in the Syrian city of Homs has been widely shared throughout the world because of its heartbreaking message about the effect of conflict on normal people.

The message says:

When I leave, be sure I tried everything in my power to stay.

In the face of refugee crisis rhetoric which trivialises the struggles of those fleeing conflict and persecution at home, many see the message as especially poignant.

Posts on Tumblr, Twitter and rebel blogs attribute the top image to rebel-friendly citizen Homs Media Centre, which is now not very active, and the picture is no longer on their Facebook page.

It also appears to have been broadcast by satellite news channel Orient Net, which is run by a member of the Syrian opposition from Dubai.

Graffiti-ing rebel slogans and lists of the names of the dead in public places has become commonplace in many parts of Syria.

Other messages on walls in Homs include "The people are starving” and "I love you Homs".


The top image is thought to be from after May 2014, after the three-year long siege of the city ended in an Arab League brokered deal, and the government's clearance operation moved in.

The regime followed up by cracking down on armed resistance from the Syrian Free Army rebels left in the city, reportedly killing up to 120 people, including civilians, in November of the same year.

Syrians carry their belongings on May 12, 2014 in a destroyed neighbourhood of the Old City of Homs. Picture: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

Fighting between government forces, Isis and other pockets of rebels continues in and around the area.

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