The crisis in Syria is one that can sometimes feel very far away. We read about refugees in the news, but few of us take the time to research the effects of the war for ourselves. From a humanitarian standpoint, however, it’s important to know what these people are going through, which is why companies are working to make that easier for us to discover. 

Recently, UNHCR, in partnership with Google, launched an interactive story site, “Searching For Syria,” that uses imagery and statistics to give a broad overview of the struggle that’s so quickly taken over the country. 3D imagery of refugees, along with side-by-side comparisons of war-torn cities to how they looked only six or seven years ago, drives home the tragedy that’s befallen the people of the country. In addition, numerous YouTube videos are embedded throughout the site that delve even deeper into the implications of the crisis.

It’s one thing to hear about the state of war-torn Syria, and another to see and experience the place for yourself. This platform is a a great example of the internet doing what it was designed to do: use technology to connect people and bring them closer together for a common cause. The site does an excellent job of contrasting the culture before and after the fighting, illustrating how a booming economy was undercut by war and how unprepared the people were to survive.

 Explore the interactive site and learn more about the conflict here.