Ikea customers in Slependen, Norway, were in for a big surprise when they stumbled upon the company’s latest awareness campaign.

If you’ve ever been to an Ikea store, you know they like to create rooms or entire houses, giving you a feel for what their furniture is supposed to look like. In a way, that’s exactly what they tried to do here – give customers a glimpse of how a Syrian house actually feels like.

Working with Norwegian Red Cross and an advertising agency POL, IKEA has installed a model Syrian home inside the store. It’s a model of a real home, owned by a woman named Rana and her family of nine in Damascus, Syria. It’s just 25 square meters, inhabited by 10 people.

“When we had to flee to this area to find safety, we did not have enough money to rent a better place. We have no money to buy mattresses and blankets, or clothes for the children,” Rana told the Red Cross team.

Instead of the classic Ikea prices and product descriptions, visitors can see stories of Syrians who struggle with day to day shortages of crucial goods.

It’s only a taste of what Syrian life is like for millions of people.

Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!

Estimate my solar savings!