If we were Syrian, we’d expect better.


The Syrian humanitarian crisis has reached unimaginable proportions: 160,000 people dead and over 9 million people displaced. Since we can’t fathom the scale of the crisis, we’re not doing enough about it—not opening our borders enough, and not giving enough aid.

But if we could imagine the crisis in our own country, we might support the people of Syria with greater resolve. This site gives you country comparisons to help you picture what the death and displacement tolls would mean for a nation you know well. Then it helps you do something about it: just tweet a link, email your representative and take a look at some facts. It’s all laid out for you here.

If you live in one of the G7 countries, and if your country were Syria, this is what your world might look like.


If America were Syria... ...everyone would be dead in...
If Canada Were Syria... ...Toronto and Vancouver would be...
If France Were Syria... ...nobody would be left alive in...
If Germany Were Syria... ...160,000 people would have been killed in...
If Italy Were Syria... ...everyone would have abandoned the cities of...
If Japan Were Syria... ...all of central Tokyo would be...
If the UK were Syria... ...everyone would have fled from...
Syria Other comparisons and the Syrian crisis by the numbers


Tweet it

Share the If We Were Syrian campaign on Twitter.  more

(e)Mail it

Send our letter to your political representatives. more

Donate it

Donate to an organization working with Syrians.  more


Answers about the Syrian Crisis Information about what's happening in Syria and the surrounding region.
Answers about IfWeWereSyrian.org Our information, our approach, our focus.


It was as if I never left the war.

Syrian refugee girl, describing Greek coastguards shooting at their refugee boat to Amnesty International

Nothing of significance has materialized so far, not one hospital, not one school… We are more than disappointed. We are frustrated. It has been more than two years of advice, of lessons, of promises and nothing.

Wael Abu Faour, Lebanon's Minister of Social Affairs, 2013

The Syrian refugee crisis has evolved into one of the most dramatic human tragedies of our times.

Ninette Kelley, UNHCR Representative in Lebanon


Shannon Gormley


Shannon Gormley is a weekly global affairs columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and journalist based in the Middle East. She has covered the Syrian refugee crisis throughout the region and in Europe. Read some of her writing here.

Drew Gough


Drew Gough is a Canadian writer and journalist currently based in Istanbul. He’s previously covered the Syrian crisis from Europe and the Middle East. See his writing here.


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