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OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)

OPEC bulletin 10/17

Students from six local Austrian schools — along with

other visitors — attended the exhibition at the OFID

headquarters in Vienna. The event built on the success

of last year’s

Long Day of Flight

exhibition, which high-

lighted the dangerous journeys endured by refugees.

This year’s exhibition focused on the trials and tribu-

lations faced by refugees who choose to settle in Austria.

Information about Austria’s Traiskirchen refugee camp

was on offer — along with recorded sounds of the camp

played through loudspeakers, and tents and camp beds,

to help create amore realistic atmosphere—and visitors

were invited to put themselves in the shoes of a refugee

arriving at the camp after a long, dangerous and painful

journey.

Visitors also learned about Austria’s history of pro-

viding safe refuge and gained insight into the asylum

application process, which can often prove challenging

for non-German speakers.

In line with this, attendees were invited to play

a game produced by non-governmental institution

Amnesty International, which aimed to highlight the dif-

ficulties in achieving a shared goal without being able

to communicate properly — only gestures were allowed

as players attempted to build a bridge together against

the clock.

The highlight of the exhibition was a presentation by

Samer Amin, a refugee from Syria.

Refugee life

Samer Amin

is 27 and comes from a city called

Idleb in northern Syria. He spoke with visitors to OFID’s

‘Long Day of Flight’ exhibition and answered a number

of questions about refugee life …

OFID

Samer Amin shares his experiences of fleeing from Syria.

What was life like before the war broke

out?

I had a happy but difficult childhood. My family has a

little farm with cows. Besides that I went to a small local

school where my father was teaching. My elder siblings

were studying at the university in Idleb. Life was good

until one of my brothers had an accident in 2004 and as

a consequence became blind.