Reflection beyond the protests
Even though the Revolution became the number one subject in the past 2 months, I came here to work for and help the children to have a better life. I think the most memorable moment is still the visit to the refugee camp in Arsal. I will never forget the faces of the children, the tents temporarily fixed with plastic sheets, as well as the meeting with the head of the camp. We had this totally surreal conversation about their fundamental worries about how to survive every day. Another similar experience I made just recently during a visit to another camp in the suburbs of Beirut. That’s not just a camp but more a village of rotten and completely damaged houses with narrow alleys looking like a maze. It was dirty, messy and it stank. Apparently, in winter when it’s raining (and it rains a lot), the streets are flooded and rats are coming out of the gullies. I don’t want to imagine this. The camp is home to approximately 50’000, mainly Syrian and Palestinian refugees. Their shelters are tiny, most of the families live in a shabby one room “apartment”. And again I felt guilty because I’m so spoiled and complain on a very high level, comparing to them, who have nothing. Their main challenges are basic, affording food or medical treatment or fighting for their children that they can go to school (they don’t enjoy even the basic rights of education for example). We went to conduct interviews with parents that live there. We heard terrifying stories from the mothers telling that some of the children are working in a factory to support the family’s income, 14 hours per day, earning almost nothing. Save the Children currently runs an informal school in this camp to ensure at least that some of the children have education and to keep them away from work.