"I want to write stories about the whole world. Then everyone will know my name."
Seven years after the Syrian crisis first began, Dreaming in Za’atari takes you in to the world of teenagers Mahmoud, Tabarak, and Najat.

The film, produced and directed by Contrast VR Editorial Lead, Zahra Rasool, explores the three teenagers' hopes and dreams for the future through VR animations that transform the spaces around them. Launched in partnership with World Vision, this film illuminates the voices of teenage refugees whose dreams are like any other teenage dream in the world, in spite of their surroundings.

7 Stories for 7 Years


7 Stories for 7 Years is the end result of Contrast VR’s training of seven teenagers at the Za’atari refugee camp.

Narrated by Game of Throne’s Liam Cunningham, 7 Stories for 7 Years is comprised of intimate footage shot by the Syrian teenagers themselves. Empowered with 360 cameras, they chose what they wanted to share with the world about their lives in Za’atari. The documentary invites you to listen to their dreams, hopes, and challenges.

After seven years these are the stories they wanted to tell. Watch the videos shot by each of the seven teenagers.


Behind The Scenes


My People, Our Stories is a Contrast VR and Samsung collaboration.

The core of Contrast VR, Al Jazeera’s immersive media arm, is built on covering underreported, authentic stories from the global south, as well as pioneering storytelling through technology.

Mahmoud shows his life in Za’atari, and how it changed from his life in Syria. "I want to tell people all over the world to help people in war zones like Palestine and Syria."

Marah shows her life and dreams inside Za’atari as a young mother and aspiring filmmaker. "My husband helps and supports me to achieve my dreams,to become a professional photographer and a great filmmaker. My message to every girl in the world "Do not stop dreaming for any reason.”

Najat explores how her love for theater began in Za’atari. "I love theatre so much. When I’m on stage, I feel as if I’m in a different world. Everything I feel, I can express it and show it on stage."

Nisreen profiles her disabled theater teacher, who explores theater to alleviate the suffering of refugees. "I want to talk about my (theater) teacher Abu Hamzeh, he is an extremely wonderful person who overcame many difficulties living in Zaatari." - Nisreen "We had to have a way to contribute, to ease our suffering as refugees." - Abu Hamza

Obada shows us about the joy of football (soccer) and friendship in Za’atari: "I want to show people all over the world that despite all of the difficulties in the refugee camp, we play football."

Tabarak remembers her home back in Syria, and how she has now finally adapted to life in Za’atari. "In the beginning we weren’t used to this kind of life. Now we are used to it, we adapted. It has become like our home in Syria."

Yusuf profiles his older brother, a barber in the camp, showing his journey to develop this craft after fleeing Syria. "I want to show my brother Ali in my story because he is my oldest brother in Za’atari and he takes care of me."