British Universities Film & Video Council

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Syria: Refugee Lives (2 Parts)

Two 15-minute programmes - IRAQI TEENAGERS SPEAK and IRAQI CHILDREN SPEAK. In the first programme Iraqi teenagers, who are living in Syria as refugees, talk about their current lives and their hopes for the future as they adjust to life in a new country. With many Iraqi adults struggling to find work in Syria, 16-year-old Seif talks about his life working in a cafe as the sole breadwinner of his family. He feels he now has little chance of training to be an engineer, his ambition when he was younger.
The programme also meets children who do attend school and sees them discuss what it feels like to be a refugee, how they cope with being put in classes with younger children, their negative feelings about the foreign troops in Iraq, and their hopes for the future.

In the second programme nine-year-old Dounia and 10-year-old Ahmed give an insight into their lives after being forced to leave Iraq and move to Syria in order to flee the continued violence in Iraq. Ahmed talks about how he misses his father, who was killed back in Iraq, and of how well he has settled into his new school, where he has made both Syrian and Iraqi friends. An unsettled life has resulted in Dounia missing over a year of school. Her parents do not have jobs, with her 16-year-old brother being the family’s only breadwinner. Dounia talks about the difficulties of missing school and being put in a class with much younger children, including her six-year-old sister.
Great Britain
Year of release
Year of production
Broadcast on Teachers TV on 18/6/2008
Social Studies; Education
educational opportunities; Iraq; refugees; Syria; young people

Online availability



Iraqi Teenagers Speak
15 mins

Iraqi Children Speak
15 mins



Teachers’ TV

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020 7182 7430
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Funded by the Department for Education, Teachers’ TV was a producer and supplier of over 3,600 free videos and lesson resources to support the professional development of anyone working in school, enabling them to widen their skills, develop their practice, and connect with others in the field. Previously broadcast on digital television, the service became exclusively online from 31 August 2010, with programmes being available for free online viewing or download. Thge DfE terminated the contract with Teachers TV and delivery via the website ceased on 29 April 2011, with the programmes being offered to educational distributors free online delivery. Further details from the DfE website Until 29 April 2011 programmes from Teachers Television were streamed on the website and available for download to registered users (free registration). Programmes are aimed at primary and secondary school teachers in all subject areas, as well as headteachers and governors, and include observation of teaching sessions, materials for use in the classroom and discussion of issues relevant to education. Teachers TV was funded by the Department for Education but the contract ended in April 2011 and the programmes are being offered to educational distributors to deliver free at the point of use from their websites. Details of which titles are available in this way are on the DfE website

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