Google search trends are a revealing insight into thought patterns, both across borders and between inhabitants of the same nation.
But in Syria today, the most commonly searched term is “Germany”.
The term was revealed in by Google’s Vice President of Marketing, Yonca Brunini, as she spoke on the company’s efforts to help refugees at a Fortune Magazine event this week.
Germany has earned a reputation as one of Europe’s most welcoming countries for refugees, and almost 1.1 million, predominantly from Syria and Iraq, arrived there last year. Many of the German population have actively participated in helping refugees settle in the country, but some worry the change is threatening to awake tensions and racism.
This isn’t the first time Google’s top searches have revealed the desperate hopes of people living in war-torn countries.
Last year, the top two searches made in Syria were found to be “immigration to Germany” and “asylum in Germany”. In an AJ+ investigation last year, searches for nearest hospitals, burn treatments at home and how to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation also proved grimly popular.
As well as attempts to escape the country, Google terms have also exposed the world’s concern for the crisis. Among the top search questions posed last year were “how can I help Nepal”, “how can I help the refugees” and “how can the world find peace”.