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What's it like to actually live inside a defunct airport? Ask a Syrian family.

War took everything from them. Now they're looking for stability.

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J&J Save the Children

“We used to have a happy and beautiful life," said one mother and refugee. "Hopefully we will return to those days. Hopefully we will return to our country.”

This mom, her husband, and their four sons lived in Syria before the war started. (Due to safety concerns, we won't use their names.)

Their lives changed completely when war broke out. The sound of bombs kept the kids up at night. She was terrified, afraid for her children's safety.


One day, when they weren't at home, their house was bombed and destroyed. Their lives were spared, but they knew they had to leave. So the family fled the country and now they’re making the best of their new reality. This is their story.

*This is a 360-degree video. Use the arrows in the top left corner to rotate the video and get a full glimpse of each room.

The conflict took everything from them. The life they knew, the life she’d dreamed of for her sons, was gone. They’re safe, but they’ve had to leave so much behind in order to ensure their continued safety.

“A refugee is not someone who comes for money," she said. "It’s not about money at all. It’s about our children’s safety so they can have stability.”

Today this family and around 1,700 other refugees are living in an old airport in Germany.

Tempelhof airport. Photo via Martina Roell/Flickr.

When the Syrianrefugee crisis hit, Germany opened its doors. “We don’t want anyone who has experienced war and terror to have to sleep on the streets,” said parliament member Daniel Buchholz in January 2016. With this in mind, a vote was passed to turn what many would call an iconic building into a refuge.

Tempelhof, a decommissioned airport that was the site of the Berlin Airlift in 1948-1949, is now filled with tents and little partitions that have been set up for the thousands of refugees who now call it home.

The spaces are small. In some cases, there are 10 or more people sharing 270 square feet of space. Families that didn’t know each other before are now becoming intimately acquainted as they try to carve out some sense of normalcy. It’s not an ideal living situation, but at least it's safer than what they left behind.

A man, his three kids, and his brother, all fleeing the violence in Syria. Photo via DFID, U.K. Department for International Development/Flickr.

“I dream of a modest house where I can live happily with my children," the refugee mother of four said. "A house that brings us together."

She and the other refugees are hoping for news that there is a house for them. They are hoping that they’ll be able to leave the camp, integrate into German society, and rebuild their lives. Children are excited to attend school, while their parents worry about their safety and about whether they’ll be accepted into their new society.

This isn’t a situation they expected to be in, but as victims of war, they’re doing what they can to survive. They’re doing what they can to build a stable future. And the protection offered by Germany’s government is getting them one step closer to making their dreams of stability a reality.

A mom and her daughter, Syrian refugees living in the U.K. Photo via DFID, U.K. Department for International Development/Flickr.

The refugee crisis has been met with a lot of fear. It's easy to get caught up in the politics and to worry about the unknown, but the unknown is what these families are living every day — dreaming of a future that, for right now, they're powerless to create. They're relying on other countries to open their doors and for citizens to open their hearts. They're asking for the opportunity to have a fresh start.

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Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

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Someone asked strangers online to share life's essential lessons. Here are the 17 best.

There's a bit of advice here for everyone—from financial wisdom to mental health tips.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Failure is a great teacher.

It’s true that life never gets easier, and we only get continuously better at our lives. Childhood’s lessons are simple—this is how you color in the lines, 2 + 2 = 4, brush your teeth twice a day, etc. As we get older, lessons keep coming, and though they might still remain simple in their message, truly understanding them can be difficult. Often we learn the hard way.

The good news is, the “hard way” is indeed a great teacher. Learning the hard way often involves struggle, mistakes and failure. While these feelings are undeniably uncomfortable, being patient and persistent enough to move through them often leaves us not only wiser in having gained the lesson, but more confident, assured and emotionally resilient. If that’s not growth, I don’t know what is.

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via Co-Op and Pixabay

Co-op CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq.

The CEO of Co-op, one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains has made an important statement about excess at a time when many families are struggling in the UK.

The Daily Mail reports that Shirine Khoury-Haq, the head of a company with over 3900 retail locations says she’s giving her twin, six-year-old daughters one present each this Christmas because she could not “in good conscience” give them more while millions of families struggle with inflation and high energy prices.

Khoury-Haq makes over £1 million ($1,190,000) a year after bonuses, so she pledged to give her family's present money to those in need. “It just feels like excess, given what’s happening in the world. In good conscience, I can’t do that in my own home,” Khoury-Haq said according to The Guardian.

“The rest of our budget will be given to Santa to provide presents for children whose parents can’t contribute to the elves,” she continued. “We’re going to go out shopping for those other presents and [we will] send them to Santa.”

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Artist captures how strangers react to her body in public and it's fascinating

Haley Morris-Cafiero's photos might make you rethink how you look at people.

Credit: Haley Morris-Cafiero

Artist Haley Morris-Cafiero describes herself on her website as "part performer, part artist, part provocateur, part spectator." Her recent project, titled "Wait Watchers" has elements of all her self-descriptors.

In an email to us, Morris-Cafiero explained that she set up a camera in the street and stood in front of it, doing mundane activities like looking at a map or eating gelato. While she's standing there she sets off her camera, taking hundreds of photos.

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Democracy

Cuban immigrant’s reaction to getting his first American paycheck has gone viral

Before coming to the U.S. last year, Diaz made $12 a month as a computer science teacher in Cuba.

The Cuban and American flags.

An Instagram post featuring Yoel Diaz, a recent Cuban immigrant, is going viral because it shows a powerful example of something many of us in America take for granted. The freedom to earn a paycheck for a day of honest labor.

In the video, Diaz is ecstatic after he opens his first paycheck after getting a job as a seasonal worker for UPS. CBS reports that before coming to the U.S. last year, Diaz made $12 a month as a computer science teacher in Cuba.

"This is my first hourly paycheck that I feel every hour counted," he told CBS News. "That every hour of work has importance in my life and that I know I can work hard for something. I can't compare that emotion with anything. Because I never had that in my country."

The new job was a big change from life in Cuba where he had trouble filling his refrigerator. He told CBS News that sometimes he only had two items: "Water, water, water, five, ten eggs, water."

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