Tell us a little bit about your experience of being there. How did it surprise you?
Even though I was well aware of the circumstances of Syria's displaced people before I went to the camp, meeting the refugees in person was an intense but also an enriching experience. Obviously it was very emotional meeting people who have just fled a war zone and listening to their stories. For example, I met a grandfather who witnessed his whole house and belongings getting destroyed by a barrel bomb in Damascus, a young mother of two, whose husband, a political activist, vanished in a prison run by the secret police and the family of an impoverished rural worker who had to leave their home town because the economy broke down and there was no more employment to be found.
The most intense situation was when I interviewed the young mother mentioned above, whose husband disappeared in the secret police jail. The woman fled Syria with her two little daughters. She told me: "When my girls see the children of our neighbours in the camp playing with their fathers they get very sad… It is too hard. It breaks my heart". We had to stop the interview when the lady started to cry and found it to hard to further talk about her experiences.
What was the aim of your drawings? How did you choose which people to include?
At the time there was hardly any mention in the media about the Syrian refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan in general and the Domiz refugee camp in particular. The media was mainly reporting about the large refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The aim of the drawings was to raise awareness of the refugees circumstances in Domiz camp where MSF is looking after the health of the displaced people.