Tuesday, July 26, 2016

HOPE - new book chronicles UNICEF NZ’s visit to Lebanon

In the Hands of Fatima
 - Christine Spring

 Published by Beatnik Publishing on 1 August 2016 -Hardback, RRP $39.99

HOPE chronicles UNICEF NZ’s visit to Lebanon, where 1.1 million refugees – 500,000 of whom are children – have fled to escape the conflict in Syria

In December 2015, Sonny Bill Williams visited the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, with UNICEF representatives and journalist Mike McRoberts. The purpose of the visit was to raise awareness of the plight of the Syrian refugees and the vital work that UNICEF and its partners undertake in healthcare, child protection, and education. Through television and social media coverage UNICEF hoped that a better awareness of the refugees and their need for our help would be developed.

 The photographs that were taken of the refugees tell a compelling story. The images speak of the impact on the children who have left their homeland and now live in informal settlements. The images also show how access to UNICEF child-safe spaces is helping the children process their trauma, grow their courage, and develop skills to face their future.

Christine Spring’s photo-essay raises awareness of the situation millions of Syrians now find themselves in; unable to return home and traumatised by conflict. HOPE is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and Christine’s images puts you into the presence of the survivors allowing you to “see a person, not a newsflash”, humanising the millions displaced by war.

 “If it’s hard to imagine what life is like inside the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War, HOPE means you no longer have to. HOPE captures rich images and stories of refugees now surviving in camps in Lebanon and, in doing so, shows us not a population’s differences, but their similarities. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. People just like us, but through no fault of their own now in the worst of circumstances.” – Mike McRoberts 
All the author’s royalties and net proceeds from this book will be donated by Beatnik Publishing to UNICEF NZ for the Syrian Refugee programmes in Lebanon. 

About the author
Christine Spring has two engineering degrees and an MBA, and has enjoyed a twenty-year career in engineering and airport design. In December 2008, she left her corporate career, having been accepted to study at Spéos Institute of Photography, Paris during 2009. In 2010 and 2011, she developed her photography and writing while she worked as a Strategic Planning Advisor on the new $US 7bn Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi Airport in the UAE.  In 2013, Liberating Self, her first book was published.  In December 2015, Christine travelled with UNICEF NZ to visit the Syrian Refugee Informal Settlements in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Her role was to record the visit and capture images of UNICEF’s work. 

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