Swimming was a family legacy for Sarah Mardini, but she never imagined her skills would save her from violence and death. The Syrian war pushed Sara and her sister to flee to Greece by water and, in desperation, to plunge into the sea to pull their boat to safety.
Once settled in Europe, Sara’s efforts to provide emergency response and humanitarian aid for refugees resulted in charges against her — alleged crimes including people-smuggling, spying, violation of state secrecy laws and money laundering. Large-scale social media campaigns and demands from European Government officials and leading human rights organizations advocated for Sara's innocence, under the slogan “humanitarian action is not a crime.” In this episode, we learn about the Syrian refugee crisis, misconceptions about migrants, and what the average person can do to understand and help address this complex issue.
Learn from expert voices:
Bill Frelick, Refugee Rights Program Director at Human Rights Watch
Dr. Steven Heydemann, the Director of Middle East Studies at Smith College in Massachusetts and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution
Sara Kayyali, Syria Researcher at Middle East North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch
Finding Humanity is a production of Humanity Lab Foundation and Hueman Group Media. Our inaugural season is made possible in part by our collaborating partner, The Elders.
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