04 Dec 2013 23:00
March 6th 2013, one Million refugee officially registered at the centre in Tripoli, Lebanon. A number expected in June 2013. Today it is estimated that double this number have crossed into Lebanon, that's how much the situation is getting worse.
Since the Syrian revolution started in January 2011, families have escaped their home, leaving all their belongings behind, their houses destroyed, terrorised, looking for a safer place to live. In August 2011, the UNHCR launched the Tripoli registration centre, ensuring extension of services to persons under its mandate. 600 to 800 refugees register there every day. 2000 register daily in all of Lebanon. And today there are 7000 daily registrations throughout the region, in the countries of asylum, including Lebanon, Jordan, turkey, Egypt and Iraq.
This project is about portraying the lives of Syrian refugees across Lebanon; their struggles, their strength, their weaknesses, their hope of returning home... one day.
Are their rights as refugees being acknowledged? Being outside of their home country, are Syrian children having access to education? Are Syrian men and women being able to work independently to earn a living? Are Syrian elderly having access to health care?
"Please! Take a picture of me and my children. Let the world see!" said to me a syrian woman during a visit to Halba in Northern Lebanon. Disseminating those life abstracts can only generate and enhance awareness. More people are becoming conscious about the situation and are now more involved in helping the ones in need. Some photos are taken at the UNHCR centre in Tripoli, where men, women, children and elderly refugees gather and wait for their turn to register. They stand in front of the gates sometimes under heavy rains, with no shelter. After registering, they will eventually get the help they need. Other photos were taken in Halba, in tiny apartments where 20 people live under one roof. Some women found each other at the Women Association Centre of Northern Lebanon, and started learning and making accessories to earn a living, while others live off charity contributions. Some more photos were shot at the Beqaa Valley, where Syrian families wander around the streets to find a shelter, holding their babies in their arms, and hiding from the rain. But the generosity of the locals had been tremendous, taking them voluntarily under their roof. They are now refugees. A fate they did not choose.