UNHCR TV Campaign

Three refugees in Cyprus share their stories of why they had to abandon the good lives they once had and how they were forced to flee their homes due to war, persecution or human rights abuses.

In collaboration with Alana Kakoyiannis at Sugarfoot Films, we were commissioned by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to produce a series of television spots aimed at raising awareness of refugees in Cyprus.

Directed, Shot & Edited by: Simon Hustings
Produced by: Alana Kakoyiannis
Camera Assistant: Ivan Charalambous
Concept by: Julie Sandor
Music: Evolution by MUX;
Some images courtesy of “Getty Images”


Spot 1 – “Ali”
Ali (not his real name) never thought he would have to leave his country (Iraq). As a pilot, he had a good life and a happy family. But things suddenly changed and he was hunted by the militia. He first fled to Syria where he was followed and escaped numerous attempts on his life. Finally he sought asylum in Cyprus where he was recognized as a refugee in 2009. Ali is using his skills to help out in his neighborhood as he feels the need to give back to his new community.


Spot 2 – “Clementine”
Clementine (not her real name) came to Cyprus under very difficult circumstances. “You don’t choose to be a refugee because you want a better life. You are forced to become a refugee in order to survive”, explains Clementine to people in her new community. As a mother of four young children, she is happy they are now safe in Cyprus. She is doing all she can to help them integrate into the Cypriot society


Spot 3 – “Khalid”
Khalid (not his real name) grew up as a Palestinian refugee in Iraq. He and his family had a good life in Baghdad until the war began. As most Palestinian refugees in Iraq, they became targets of violence and persecution by the militia. Although they found protection in Cyprus, it is not easy to fully integrate into society. But six years later, his life is changing for the better.