When ‘Happy’ has no home: Syrian refugees dance to Pharrell’s hit song

Since the video to Pharrell Williams’s hit song “Happy” was released last year, people around the world have flocked to make versions showcasing their home towns in what has become an Internet phenomenon.  More than 1,500 “We’re Happy From…” videos have been uploaded to YouTube, featuring places as far afield as Yerevan in Armenia and Kinshasa in Congo and spawning a Web site that seeks to keep track of them all.

But what to do if you are among the 2.8 million Syrians who have been forced out of their home towns by war?

Earlier this month, Syrian refugees living in the Darashakran refugee camp in the northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan went ahead regardless and posted their own version of “Happy.

Despite their evidently unhappy conditions, the refugees dance among their tents with as much joy as any of those who made the other videos, giving a special poignancy to the celebratory lyrics of the song.

Anup Kaphle is the Post's digital foreign editor. He has an M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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