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Polaroids put personal touch on refugee crisis

Updated 10:15 PM ET, Thu April 14, 2016
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"Where am I? Why am I here?" asks Sarah, a 24-year-old Syrian refugee who was recently photographed by Charlotte Schmitz. Schmitz used a Polaroid camera so her subjects could write their thoughts directly onto the photos. "Everyone could tell freely what he or she thinks or feels," she said. Charlotte Schmitz
Hamase, an 8-year-old from Iran, wrote, "My father is here because of me and my future." The translations were provided by Schmitz. Charlotte Schmitz
Sajid, 17, wrote, "I'm alone." Charlotte Schmitz
Wasiem points out the boat that he and 300 other people arrived on. Charlotte Schmitz
A young boy wrote his name, Andy Elias. Schmitz went to Idomeni, a Greek town on the Macedonian border; Lesbos, a Greek island off the coast of Turkey; and Lageso, a refugee center in Berlin. Charlotte Schmitz
"I love Maryam so much," said Dawoud Shah, left. "We left Afghanistan three days after our wedding." Charlotte Schmitz
"Because I'm Christian, I can't stay in my country," said Farzad, a 24-year-old from Iran. "I left everything for my believing, but God is faithful." Charlotte Schmitz
This photo identifies a family from Baghlan, Afghanistan: Romina, Ameneh, Reza, Sonja and Roya. Charlotte Schmitz
"I am strong, I can work," wrote this 14-year-old from Syria's Aleppo state. Charlotte Schmitz
"I love Star Wars," wrote Soheil Khan, who is from Baghdad, Afghanistan. The translation of the rest, as he explained to Schmitz, was "I'm empty inside." Charlotte Schmitz
"I smoke because of Lageso," said Husin, who is from Iraq. Schmitz said it can take weeks for migrants to be registered at the German refugee center. Charlotte Schmitz
"I see only humans, not humanity," it says on this photo of Dappy and Josh. They met in Turkey and have been traveling together for about two years. Charlotte Schmitz
Azizi Shabnan and Azizi Abdul Shahi pose together. The translation: "I would like to live my life with this lovely woman in this nice country." Charlotte Schmitz
"I will be free after Lageso," wrote Majd, 25. Charlotte Schmitz
There are drawings on this Polaroid of Asmaa, 12; Rabea, 9; and Raoah, 8. "This is our house in Syria," it says on top. Charlotte Schmitz
"I am a singer who was banned from his profession and searching for freedom," wrote Arvash, a 30-year-old from Tehran, Iran. Charlotte Schmitz
Hani wrote, "I need freedom." Charlotte Schmitz
"Whatever it is, it's better than Iran," wrote Reza, a 27-year-old from Ahwaz, Iran. Charlotte Schmitz
Faisal Wallo, 29, wrote: "I live in Turkey to work and to feed my children. I was studying history in Syria at Aleppo University. I used to teach at school." Charlotte Schmitz