Europeans and refugees embrace one another with four minutes of continued eye contact in a powerful new Amnesty International video that’s sure to bring a tear to your eye.
There are smiles, laughter and tears as men, women and children sit in pairs across from one another, staring quietly. The “Look Beyond Borders” experiment was based on psychologist Arthur Aron’s study that suggests extended eye contact increases intimacy. The results are heartwarming.
“Are you alone here, or with your family?” a woman from Berlin asks the Syrian man facing her, her eyes welling with tears.
“Alone,” he answers softly, after a short pause. “It’s life. Sometimes nice, sometimes, not good.”
When the time is up, the two quickly rise to their feet and hug each other tightly.
“Today, when the world appears rife with division and conflict, it is always worthwhile to look at everything from another person’s perspective,” said Draginja Nadażdin, director of Amnesty International Poland.
More than one million refugees fled their homes and crossed into Europe last year, in addition to millions of people who have escaped from Syria since war broke out in 2011. Many have endured alienation and discrimination since they arrived.
“Too often, what gets lost in the numbers and headlines is the suffering of actual people, who, like us, have families, friends, their own stories, dreams and goals,” Nadazdin added. “Borders exist between countries, not people.”