New Podcast: The Hope to Return

By Lyse Mauvais

“The Hope to Return” follows three families displaced from Ras al-Ain and its countryside in 2019 by Operation Peace Spring, a military offensive launched by Turkey and Turkish-backed military groups in northern Syria. 

Four years after the offensive, tens of thousands of Syrians are still stranded in displacement camps and makeshift shelters across northeastern Syria, unable to return. Their houses back home have been destroyed, looted or occupied, and their land has sometimes been confiscated. 

The stories of these families offer valuable insight into some of the property challenges facing hundreds of thousands of displaced people across Syria. They also highlight a few of the complex obstacles standing in the way of return.

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“Distance,” a podcast by Syria Direct, offers an intimate portrayal of the pain and rage of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters caught in a bureaucratic nightmare after their family reunification requests were rejected by European migration authorities.