UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and The Guardian teamed up to produce Sea Prayer, a 360 virtual reality animation video to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of Alan Kurdi, a three-year old Syrian boy who drowned during his attempted flight from Turkey to Greece in 2015.
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and renowned writer Khaled Hosseini wrote Sea Prayer, imagined as a monologue of a Syrian father holding his child while waiting for a boat passage to cross the sea. The poem is narrated by Bafta-winning actor Adeel Akhtar and reflects on the city of Homs they were forced to flee as well as the dangers of the sea passage.
The picture of drowned Alan Kurdi sparked an unprecedented amount of interest and engagement among European citizens, who mobilised in thousands to provide assistance to refugees making the journey to and through Europe. Since 2015 however, thousands more of people have drowned during the crossing of the Mediterranean, in the absence of safe and legal ways to access protection.