Humans of New York start eye-opening series on Syrian refugees 

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A Syrian refugee boy cries as he is carried by his parents moments after arriving in an overcrowded dinghy at a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from the Turkish coast, September 27, 2015. A record number of at least 430,000 refugees and migrants have taken rickety boats across the Mediterranean to Europe this year, 309,000 via Greece, according to International Organization for Migration figures. Reuters/Dimitris Michalakis

The Humans of New York (HONY) photoblog has affected the lives of many by narrating touching tales from people around the world, and it is now back in the news owing to its efforts to narrate the plight of Syrian refugees.

In photographer Brandon Staton's latest series, images of victims of the Syrian crisis are captured and shared on social media, along with their stories of strength and grief. The move, lauded by netizens, has led to an outpouring of emotions and sympathy. 

The posts also reveal the hardships faced by refugees travelling to the ports of Europe. The revelations made by the refugees show the hold of illegal smugglers in Syria who make false promises to those willing to migrate, in order to make money. 

The crisis in Syria has led to the displacement of 11 million natives and is one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in modern history, according to Mercy Corps. Humans of New York started its refugee series with a post from the summer of 2014 about Muhammad, a Syrian resident who managed to escape from war-torn Syria and had been hired by HONY as an interpreter for the next few days. Muhammad helped Stanton interview the refugees who are fleeing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The six-part posts about Muhammad has generated a lot of likes on the official HONY Facebook page, while several other refugee stories, mostly based on the state of those trying to flee the country to reach the safer lands of Europe, have also created a stir.

However, not all posts in the series by Humans of New York have a sad ending, and most have worked to - as it is commonly put - "restore faith in humanity" as they portray the effect of helping hands reaching out to those in need.  One Facebook user named Chris Howard, even commented on a post by Humans of New York, saying:

 “This has been the best series of posts ever on HONY.” 

 Howard’s comment  got 145 replies and 44,890 likes, as of this writing.

HONY was started by photographer Brandon Stanton in November 2010 and has so far covered 6,000 portraits of people from all over the globe.

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