Shanshan Chen is a London-based filmmaker and multimedia journalist who covers the world's most under-reported stories including women's rights, LGBT rights, war and conflict, climate change and migration. She has travelled to more than 30 countries and regions for her films and photography. 

Starting over: a Syrian’s new life in the Netherlands (2016)

Produced and Edited for Thomson Reuters Foundation

Also available on The Atlantic

March 15, 2016 marks five years since the start of the Syrian conflict. It has killed 250,000 people and triggered the world’s largest displacement crisis. Half of all Syrians have fled their homes, around 4.8 million of them becoming refugees outside the country, mostly in neighbouring Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq.

Around 450,000 Syrians have been granted asylum in Europe. Hanadi is one of them.

Hanadi and her family had an middle-class life in Damascus, until the fighting closed in around them. They sold all they had and fled to Turkey. Using the proceeds from the family house and car, Hanadi made her way to the Netherlands, which is known for its generous family reunification policy. We first filmed Hanadi and her family in 2014, when they had been in their new home in the small Dutch village of Kessel Eik, for three months. Sixteen months later we visited them again to see how Hanadi was getting on in her new European home.

Director: Liz Mermin

Producer & Editor: Shanshan Chen