28 March 2013
Last updated at 21:45 ET
Syria's civil war has forced more than a million people to flee, usually with only a small bag of possessions. Brian Sokol, with support from the UNHCR, has photographed some of the refugees holding treasures from their homes. Iman, 25, pictured here in Nizip refugee camp in Turkey, took only her son Ahmed and daughter Aisha and a Koran when she fled Aleppo. The religious book provides protection, she says.
Alia, a blind 24-year-old pictured in the Domiz refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, was forced to flee her home in Daraa. She says the only important thing she brought with her was her "soul, nothing more - nothing material". Her wheelchair she regards as an extension of her body and not a separate object.
Anyone who looked as though they were fleeing was liable to be prevented from leaving the country - so many left almost empty-handed. Waleed, a doctor who works at the Medecins Sans Frontieres clinic in the Domiz camp, fled the country 20 days after his wife gave birth. He says the picture of her reminds him of happier times.
May, an eight-year-old living in the Domiz camp, misses her doll Nancy, which she was unable to bring on the journey from her home in Damascus. The bracelets she wears are now her most important possessions.
When 37-year-old Omar plays his buzuq (long-necked lute), it reminds him of life in Damascus. "For a short time, it gives me some relief from my sorrows," he says. He left the country the night his neighbours were killed.
Brian also visited the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon where he met Yusuf from Damascus. Yusuf's most prized possession is his mobile phone. "With this, I'm able to call my father", he says. The phone has a dual purpose, as it also contains pictures of his loved ones.
Abdul and his family hope they can return to Damascus soon, so he keeps the keys to his flat in a safe place. He chose to leave after his wife was wounded in crossfire but doesn't even know if his property is still standing. Now the couple and their children live in Bekaa Valley in a plywood shelter constructed by UNHCR and the Danish Refugee Council.
Tamara hopes that having brought her diploma with her, she will be able to continue her education in Turkey. The 20-year-old, pictured in the Adiyaman refugee camp in Turkey, left her home in Idlib after it was destroyed. Her family feared for their lives, she says: "We were moving from one shelter to another in order to protect ourselves."
Family is a recurring theme for many refugees. Ayman, 82, says his 67-year-old wife Yasmine is the most important thing in the world. The couple fled their home in Aleppo for the Nizip refugee camp in Turkey after their neighbours were murdered. Ayman said: "She's the best woman I've met in my life."
Ahmed's most important thing is his walking stick. His family and four others fled together from their Damascus homes to the Domiz refugee camp. Without his cane, he would have been unable to make the two-hour crossing on foot to the Iraqi border. A son who stayed behind was killed in October.