'Sea Cemetery' Commemorates Syrian Refugees Who Died Trying To Reach Europe

The heartbreaking display is dedicated to the thousands of innocent lives lost.

25/05/2016 8:54 AM AEST | Updated 25/05/2016 9:33 AM AEST

Syrian refugees who've lost their lives fleeing their war-torn homeland have not been forgotten. 

Last month, 200 floating gravestones appeared off the coast of Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea. Each one, made of styrofoam and tethered by weights, was inscribed with the name of a refugee who died while traveling to Europe. The "sea cemetery" display, created by TBWA\Istanbul for humanitarian group Support for Life, was meant to pay tribute to the estimated 4,000 Syrian refugees who have died on the arduous journey to freedom. 

The team behind the project created a multimedia website to spread awareness about the refugee crisis. It includes interviews with refugees who experienced the crisis firsthand. 

"If only you could have seen my son. ... He was so young. I can't get him out of my mind. Not having enough time with him grieves me deeply," Mariam Al-Ahmed, a Syrian refugee who lost her son, says in the video. 

Khalil Hamza, another Syrian refugee, says he used to "dream of watching the sea," as it represented opportunity across the shores. Now, the water holds a very different meaning. 

"Most of our relatives wanted to cross the sea to live in Europe, but the sea has become a cemetery for Syrians," Hamza says. 

Check out the video above to learn more about the story. 

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