• An emotional moment of Go Back to Where You Came From Live (SBS)Source: SBS
Day after day, Ansas turned up at the Syrian-Turkish border with an armful of flowers, hoping to see if his wife and children had arrived.
Staff writers

2 Oct 2018 - 11:14 PM  UPDATED 2 Oct 2018 - 11:27 PM

Day after day, Syrian refugee Ansas turned up at the Syrian-Turkish border with a bunch of red flowers to see if his wife and children were among those fleeing the conflict. 

He would search the faces of the Syrians spilling out of buses, only to be disappointed each time. He hadn't seen his family for three years. 

Finally, his wife and son, aged seven, and daughter, aged five, ran into his arms and the family was joyously reunited - and Go Back to Where You Came From Live was there to film the emotional reunion.

Only the day before, the crew on the live broadcast/documentary special, labelled SBS's "most ambitious television event to date", had filmed Ansas, a dentist, and heard his heartbreaking story.

He is one of many Syrian refugees who wait anxiously to see loved ones at the border crossing, one of only three official openings between between Syria and Turkey. 

More than half of Syria's population of 22 million have fled from their homes since the civil war began in 2011. Of those, 5.6 million have sought refuge in other countries, with Turkey hosting 3.5 million of these.

The show's co-presenter Ray Martin told audiences that the remarkable story had unfolded during the broadcast of episode one, only 20 minutes earlier. 

The SBS program, which screens live over three nights, sees a group of eight Australians going into overseas war zones, all in the hopes of gaining first-hand experience of the global refugee crisis. 

Show participants Gretel Killeen, a media personality, and Steve, a former prison guard from Adelaide who holds strong anti-refugee views, were there at the border to see the family reunion take place. 

"It's great,'' said Steve, who was visibly moved. "We've got a young seven-year-old boy that will get to spend some time with his dad. Obviously I have a boy.

"It's a little bit emotional to see that sort of stuff. It's a good story."

 'Go Back To Where You Came From Live' airs over three consecutive nights, October 2 – 4, 8.30pm, LIVE on SBS Australia and streaming live at SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #GoBackLive

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