This winter I had the opportunity to take part in a great story.
It was about the young Syrian boy called Mahmoud, who were displaced from his homeland because of the civil war.
Finally, he and his family got the opportunity to a better life. After nearly two years on the run, living in Egypt without school and daily harassment they had now obtained a residence permit in Sweden.
My assignment was to document the family ‘s first encounter with Sweden for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR ).
The family Farid where placed in Torsby, a small village in the outskirt of Sweden on the border to Norway.
By telling from the family’s body language upon arrival, they were more than surprised about the location. Being struck by snow-capped peaks and forest as far as their eyes could see and a freezing -15 degree wind was not something the family had fought of after they had left Cairo’s street swarm behind them, that very same day.
Mahmoud told me that he finally felt safe. He wasn´t afraid that someone would harass him or there would come a bomb from the sky. Now he is looking forward to start school again. Those terrible things I heard Mahmoud had gone through shouldn´t any children have to experience in such an early age.
The film from the story can been watched here ; Made by Zahra Mackaoui and video Marc Hofer / UNHCR, or be read here.

– Johan Bävman

PHOTO BY JOHAN BÄVMAN/ MOMENT/ INSTITUTE