Super Mario gets involved in Syrian refugees’ plight

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A Syrian artist has created a spin-off from the iconic Supermario Nintendo game, in which the journey of a refugee is depicted. It brings attention to the horror asylum seekers go through in search safety and security.

The simple plot is typical of the game: a character is on a quest to reach his goal. In the case of the original 1985 Super Mario Bros scenario, it was to save Princess Peach. This version features Refugee Mario trying to make it safely to the sanctuary of a camp.

The video was posted at the same time as Nintendo released Super Mario Maker for Wii U, which gives gamers the opportunity to recreate some of the artist’s creations. 

The quest starts with Refugee Mario grabbing his suitcase and emptying his savings account. The action is accompanied by the merry and recognizable Mario sound effects. 

While crossing the Mediterranean Sea, the hero risks a dunking if he misses his raft. If he misses and falls into the water, the game highlights the number of Marios left – 22,500,000.

Having successfully passed the border guards and an identity check in the form of a huge fingerprint that grows out of a pot for plants, Refugee Mario finally makes it to his destination. He gets into the camp by sliding down EU flagpoles, at which point a sign glows: welcome survivors. 

The artist behind the video is a 29 year old man from Istanbul who goes under the pseudonym Samir al-Mufti.
He fled Homs in Syria in 2011. 

Samir's best friend died five months ago on his way to Turkey: he drowned when the engine of the boat he was traveling in exploded. 

This tragic event inspired the artist to use Super Mario as a means of communicating with a wider audience. 

"I used Super Mario because it’s famous all over the world. It’s like music – a universal language.”

The satirical video is currently going viral. 

By creating this Super Mario version, the artist hopes to widen the satirical channel's (Online for Media Production) audience in order to raise awareness of the ongoing refugee crisis and change things for the better. 

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