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“Stranger in Paradise” Shown on International Migrants Day

Many attended the screening of “Strangers in Paradise”, shown at Humanity House in The Hague on 18 December, International Migrants Day. After the film former Syrian refugee Zakaria Alo and Marieke Mol from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared their views about the image migrants have of Europe.

The Event was organized by The European Commission in the Netherlands, the European Migration Network in the Netherlands (EMN) and IOM.

“Stranger in Paradise” shows how European views contrast with the expectations of migrants themselves. In a classroom, newly arrived migrants receive a lesson about Europe. This year this prizewinning film is part of the official selection of IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival.

After the screening, Rogier Elshout moderated two discussions: Zakaria Alo’s personal story about he fled Syria in 2012 with his family; an emotional story about how he experienced his long journey. The second guest was Marieke Mol from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and co-chair of the European working group on awareness raising campaigns. With these campaigns, Europe wants to provide migrants with a realistic picture of the risks en route and the opportunities after arrival in a European country.

The film screening took place on the occasion of International Migrants Day focusing on the rights of migrants and the contribution they make to societies. Around International Migrants Day, IOM organizes film screenings worldwide under the name Global Migration Film Festival.