Lana Abi Rached, Lebanon – France
I gave to Mariam, Mohamad and Aboud, 3 kids from Jusoor School in Jeb Janine, disposable cameras. I asked them to take pictures during the week end and give the cameras back to me on Monday. I was very excited to see the result. Once I developed the pictures and looked at them, I was impressed by the quality of some pictures. It is very interesting to see the where a refugee kid sees beauty.
I then showed them the pictures and recorded them explaining the context. It is very humbling to listen to them. Mariam describes her tent as a nice Lebanese House, Mohamad pities the homeless children that have “nothing to eat and no home” and Aboud gets all excited capturing his mom making Mamounieh.
They have seen the ugliest this world has to offer and yet they see beauty in the little things. Mariam was telling about her small pet goat that her father saved. The small goats’ mother died and Mariam’s family took care of it. She was so excited to show me how it is growing up and eating potato now. She showed me pictures of the flower fields behind the camp. She describes the view as wonderful, specially after all the flower have bloomed. She also mentioned that she had to hide and quickly snap the picture of her family to surprise them.
Her Best Friend making a friendship necklace
Mohamad is more of a nature savy and took mostly pictures of landscapes. His favorite picture is a picture of his best friend’s villa, a Lebanese kid that lives with his family in the Bekaa in a seemingly big mention. Those kid come very different places but yet, they play together and love each other. Grown ups should learn from that. Mohamad is the is in the class that I teach everyday. He is a very smart and resourceful kid. He dreams of being a pilot. On the first week, we were drawing and cutting paper circles for an activity. As usual, we were short on material and notably scissors. Usually, kids wait for their turn but Mohamad had a better Idea. He meticulously bore tiny holes on all the shape line and practically carved the circles out of the paper. It was inspiring to witness that.
Aboud is the most cheerful child I have met in my life. He has this big contagious smile that rarely leaves his face. He even managed to tell me about the war with a smile (the only thing that stopped me from crying in front of them FYI). He is the only kid I have spoken to that doesn’t live inside a camp.His parents have been living in an isolated tent in the Bekaa for 11 years while he was in Syria. His parents brought him and his siblings over when the war got too intense. He likes taking portraits and took my favorite picture amongst all of them, his mom milking a goat.
The 3 of them are Syrian Refugees living in tents in Lebanon. The 3 of them told me that the war is horrible and that they fled in buses when the government started abducting random people. The 3 of them dream of going back home to their homeland. The 3 of them are smart and joyful kids which I believe will have a bright future regardless of the circumstances.
Once my project “Kids Next Door” in on track, I will release the interviews of those kids and you will be able to witness how they see the world. It’s beautiful.