Since the war in Syria began in 2011, more than two million refugees have fled the country, seeking refuge in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. Kevin Sullivan, Senior Correspondent at The Washington Post, has given a human face to these statistics. He joined HuffPost Live’s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin to discuss the lives of the Syrian refugees he documented.
In October, Sullivan traveled across the Middle East with Linda Davidson, a photographer for The Washington Post. Together the pair reported on the personal histories of 18 Syrian refugees, publishing their stories collectively in a multimedia series titled, "Refuge: 18 Stories From The Syrian Exodus."
Sullivan told the story of Dania, a seven-year-old girl whose home outside of Aleppo exploded in an aerial bombardment. After finding her in the rubble, Dania’s parents brought her to Turkey for treatment.
"She is just mangled. The poor little kid, her body is just destroyed," he said, "And her parents [have] been sleeping on the chair next to her hospital bed for [five months]. And they said, 'We had a life. We had good thing in Syria… But, now we realize that we’re here for the long haul. We are refugees.'"
This story among others, says Sullivan, encapsulates the meaning of the humanitarian crisis in Syria: "Terrible things happen to good people and suddenly they find themselves in a situation they never imagined they would be in."
As the crisis continues, Sullivan believes that a lack of financial resources will continue to plague the expanding Syrian diaspora.
"Save the Children has been trying to raise money for these people for almost three years and they’ve raised about a million and a half dollars. In the first two weeks after the big typhoon in the Philippines recently, they raised six million dollars," Sullivan said, "So, yes, I think people have forgotten this one a little bit."
To hear more from Kevin Sullivan, watch the full interview HERE.