Acclaimed teenage photographer, Sinem’s photographs raised awareness about the lives of the young refugees.
THO continued to raise awareness about the Syrian refugee crisis. The exhibit at the symbolic Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium was visited by 25 high-level executives.
On March 30, 2016, THO hosted a photo exhibit titled “On the Border: Syrian Women and Children” at the gala hosted jointly by the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK), a nonprofit organization that operates under the umbrella of Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) and the Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT).
The exhibit at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, a symbolic venue that hosted both the establishment of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as well as the signing of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), featured photos by 16-year-old Sinem Oguz, who accompanied the President of the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), Dr. Fuat Oktay, to Syrian refugee camps in Turkey in Spring 2015.
A Day in the Life of Young Refugees
Acclaimed teenage photographer Sinem’s photographs capture a day in the life of young refugees in shelters along the Turkey-Syrian border. Sinem, a Turkish-American high school junior at Leonia Academy of Science in New Jersey, traveled to the country’s largest refugee housing facilities in Harran and Akcakale to capture the lives and experiences of Syrian children who have taken refuge in Turkey. Since 2011, more than 2.7 million Syrians have taken refuge in Turkey, the majority of them woman and children.
Born in Ankara, Turkey, Sinem immigrated with her family to the United States in 2009. Sinem uses her talent to call attention to the challenges and struggles of people displaced by war and political unrest. She is specifically passionate about advocating for the women and children displaced by the Syrian conflict.
“Despite fleeing their homes and leaving everything behind, the Syrian women and children exude grace, strength and resiliency,” said Sinem. “I’m honored to have traveled to Turkey and captured a day in their lives to show to the world how this conflict is about more than politics, it’s about people.” The young Turkish-American photographer was also interviewed by Washington, D.C.’s local news channel ABC 7 News.
Stories of the Refugees Must Be Told
The exhibition was made possible by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK). TAIK Chairman Ekim Alptekin said that they were honored to partner with Sinem Oguz and the Turkish Heritage Organization on this important exhibition that highlights the plight of Syrian refugees. “The stories of the refugees must be told, and Sinem’s photography brings them to life with an uncommon honesty and grace. Their resilience is an inspiration to us all” said Chairman Alptekin.
The gala, which brought together high-level executives from 25 multinationals from Fortune 100 companies, celebrated the decades-long strategic relations between the United States and Turkey. Turkish President Erdogan spoke about the current state of the U.S. – Turkey economic relations. The president encouraged executives to increase their investment by highlighting Turkey’s vibrant economy and generous investment incentives.