“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.


E5: The future of the camps


The Hope to Return was produced by Lyse Mauvais with help from Solin Muhammad Amin and Syria Direct’s editorial team, including Mateo Nelson, Ammar Hamou and Natacha Danon. Illustrations are by Rami Khoury. The soundtrack is “Maldoc” by Little Rock. Instrumental transitions are performed by Kawa Kale from Yekpar, a group of Kurdish musicians displaced from Ras al-Ain. 

The series is narrated in English by Lyse Mauvais and in Arabic by Omar Nour, with dubbing in English by Natacha Danon (Amina), Mateo Nelson (Khedr), Alicia Medina (Zahra), Ali Wanli (Brahim al-Fares), Abdallah al-Shamaili (Ezzeddin Saleh), Fabienne Rorke (Anisa Malek), Isabel Morgan (Gulistan Awsu), Aaron Weintraub (Manhal al-Khaled) and George Henton (Fayrushah Ramadan). Narration for the Arabic version of this series was translated from the original English by Fatima Ashour.