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Published On: Wed, May 25th, 2016

Poignant video shows refugees and Europeans staring at each other for 4 minutes

Try to watch this video without shedding a tear. It revolves around a simple but poignant theory, developed by psychologist Arthur Aron in 1997: that four minutes of uninterrupted eye contact brings people closer to each other better than everything else. 

In the clip, produced by Amnesty international Poland and Polish ad agency DDB&Tribal, recently arrived refugees from Somalia and Syria meet for the first time with Europeans in a warehouse near Berlin’s old Cold War-era crossing, Checkpoint Charlie. 

As they open their eyes and make eye contact, the refugees and people from Belgium, Italy, Germany, Poland and the UK can be seen sharing an intimate connection, breaking down barriers. 

“It takes a heart of stone to watch this video without shedding a tear. Today, when the world appears rife with division and conflict, it is always worthwhile to look at everything from another person’s perspective,” says Draginja Nadażdin, Director of Amnesty International Poland. 

“Too often, what gets lost in the numbers and headlines is the suffering of actual people, who, like us, have families, friends, their own stories, dreams and goals. What if we stopped for just a moment and looked at who they really are?”

“Borders exist between countries, not people. And it is imperative that our governments start putting people before borders and their own short-term political gain.”

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