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The Project / Das Projekt

THEY HAVE NAMES began as an awareness campaign to help people who may have misconceptions about the people who are fleeing war and oppression better understand who they are, as well as introduce a few of the faces behind the numbers to those who are simply interested in „getting to know“ people seeking refuge. Through photos and stories, we share experiences with our friends from a refugee camp in Berlin where we volunteer. While the site is primarily intended to simply bring awareness and help develop empathy for „others,“ sometimes there are direct calls for action (eg. bike drives in Berlin, collection of funds for basic necessities or art supplies and other activities for the kids).

We are currently working on directly assisting some of our friends who made it to Berlin bring their loved ones out of areas of danger in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan… by helping sponsor them so they can expedite their safe travels to Berlin.

There is an immediate call to action to help our friend Mohammed bring his ill wife and 2 children out of a Palestinian Refugee Camp in Damascus to Berlin, in collaboration with a refugee-sponsoring non-profit organization in Berlin, If we can get enough patrons to donate a small monthly amount ($5, 10, 25), we can sponsor them and get them into safety within 3-4 months. We have to guarantee €1500 per month to be able to sponsor them, which means only 150 people donating about $10 per month).
We are sure with your help we can do this! You can find out more here.

You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by clicking on the icons at the top of the page, and you can sign up for updates below. You can make a recurring or one-time donation here (put MOHAMMED-THN in the MESSAGE line)


(photo: Sabha, Hamzeh, Alma, Aya-first row; Mohammed, Ahmed and baby Rayan)


The Back Story:

In the debate about migration and flight, people usually talk about the abstract term „The Refugees.“ The are many understandable fears, but sadly also many prejudices about refugees. This doesn’t address the individuality of the single person, their characters or stories, strengths or weaknesses, or their dreams or nightmares.

In der Debatte zu Migration und Flüchtlingen wird verallgemeinernd über den abstrakten Begriff „Die Flüchtlinge” gesprochen. Es herrschen viele verständliche Ängste, aber leider auch viele Vorurteile über „Die Flüchtlinge“. Dies wird der Individualität jedes Einzelnen, seines Charakters, seiner Lebensgeschichte, seiner Stärken und Schwächen, seiner Wünsche und Ängste nicht gerecht.

We believe that a peaceful coexistence of people of different religions, cultures, and societies can only work if everybody communicates with one another.

Wir glauben, dass ein friedliches Zusammenleben von Menschen unterschiedlicher Religionen, Kulturen und Gesellschaftsstrukturen nur funktionieren kann, wenn Alle miteinander kommunizieren.

In order for that to be possible, people have to open up to one another, talk about themselves, but also learn to listen to and empathize with others in an attempt to better understand and comprehend different perspectives. 

Dazu gehört, dass man sich seinem Gegenüber öffnet, von sich erzählt, sich offenbart, aber auch zuhört und versucht, sich einzufühlen, zu verstehen, nachzuvollziehen.

In our personal experience, we’ve learned that even people from the furthest parts of the world are essentially the same as my closest neighbors. Everywhere in the world people love their children, their parents, their siblings. Everywhere, people want their families to feel safe and warm and fed. Everywhere you can find compassion and benevolence, as you will also be confronted with greed and violence. People are different, but also inherently the same, regardless if they located are in Bagdad or Berlin or Washington or anywhere in between.

In meiner persönlichen Erfahrung hat mich dies zu der Erkenntnis geführt, dass auch Menschen aus den entferntesten Teilen der Welt im Kern genauso beschaffen sind wie meine nächsten Nachbarn. Überall auf der Welt lieben Menschen ihre Kinder, ihre Eltern, ihre Geschwister. Überall gibt es Barmherzigkeit und Nächstenliebe, aber eben auch Egoismus, Gier und Gewalt. Die Menschen sind verschieden, aber sie sind auch gleich, egal ob in Bagdad oder Berlin.

  • They Have Names is a photographic project with the aim of helping reduce the fear of „the other.
  • They Have Names ist ein fotografisches Projekt, das dazu beitragen soll, Ängste vor dem Fremden abzubauen.

Through this project, we hope to show that people coming from an Islamic culture and other parts of the world are not automatically a threat to values of humanism and moral behavior.

Dieses Projekt soll zeigen, dass Menschen aus der islamischen Kultur und anderen Teilen der Welt nicht zwangsläufig eine Bedrohung für humanistische, moralische Werte sind.

We want to show that at the core of who and what we are, all humans are basically the same, with the same basic needs and desires. And together, we can work through our differences, benefitting from what „the other“ brings to the table, and find a path to a peaceful and mutually beneficial life coexisting as part of one and the same human race.

Dieses Projekt soll zeigen, dass wir im Kern alle gleich sind und damit eine Basis dafür schaffen, dass wir gemeinsam an unseren Unterschieden arbeiten und einen Weg zu einem friedlichen Zusammenleben finden können.

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