Doctors of the World unveiled today their 2016 Christmas cards that starkly juxtapose vintage biblical nativity scenes with modern-day photographs of conflict zones across the Middle East.
The cards, that are sold under names such as ‘Not So Silent Night’ and ‘The Star of Bedlam’, were designed pro bono by advertising agency McCann London and feature photojournalism from Press Association taken over the last year.
Conflict in the Middle East has led to the biggest forced displacement of civilians since the Second World War. The United Nations estimates that 65million people have fled their homes because of violence and armed conflict. Half are from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. Some 28 million are children.
Doctors of the World medics, midwives and psychologists provided over 580,000 people with medical care and delivered over 8,560 mental health consultations in Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq in 2015 alone.
“Every Christmas a romanticised picture is presented of the Holy Land of the past, featuring peaceful pastoral images that are shared in homes, churches and high streets across the country,” says Leigh Daynes, executive director of Doctors of the World. “This is completely at odds with the humanitarian crisis that the region faces today.
“This Christmas we’re asking people to see the realities that we see of the war-torn Middle East, and share some goodwill with a donation to help us give medical aid to people in desperate need.”
Rather than making a religious statement, these images seek to remind the public that this year war has forced millions from their homes, and they really need our help.
Proceeds from the sale of each pack will help us provide vital medical aid to people who’ve been forced from their homes by war. And help to re-instate a little of the most festive feeling of all – hope.
But leaving aside the proceeds obtained with the cards, every week Doctors of the World will release a story from the Middle East on their social networks Facebook, Twitter and Intagram). You can help sharing these stories by using the campaign’s hashtag #RealityXmas. Direct donations are welcommed.
Image over the headline.- #RealityXmas, by McCann London for Doctors of the World. Today on display at Cannary Wharf -London-. © McCann London.