Through the Eyes of Syrian Refugee Children

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Al-Akhbar Management

What will refugee children do if you give them a camera to capture their lives in the refugee camps? One can think of many possible answers, but what they did in the end was unexpected — they sold the camera!

They did not do so out of malice. They did it because they are denied basic livelihoods in their unsuitable dwellings.

When they got the camera, they did not think about keeping it for later, for when they “make it” as photographers. They only thought about one thing: How many loaves of bread could this strange device be worth? They only thought of the bread that could fill their bellies, in their cold tents — nothing more and nothing less.

Stories like this occur in Syrian refugee camps throughout Lebanon. The Image Festival Association — in collaboration with UNICEF and Zakira — documented this and many more painful fates in a film.

The project gave displaced children the chance to narrate their daily experiences and talk about their hopes and dreams. The children’s photographs were shown in the “Lahza 2” exhibition of displaced children’s photography, organized by Zakira.

The exhibition, held at al-Madina Theater, showcased 62 photographs of Syrian children taken in their makeshift refugee camps. They are part of 13,500 pictures taken by 500 Syrian children as part of the Lahza 2 project, of which 500 pictures were selected. In addition to the exhibition, which ended 3 days ago, 142 pictures were published in a book titled “Lahza 2 - Zakira.”

Below are 11 pictures by 11 children.

Photo by Gharam Hussein al-Amr in al-Delhimiyeh camp in the Bekaa Valley
Photo by Gharam Hussein al-Amr in al-Delhimiyeh camp in the Bekaa Valley
Photo by Mohammed Azzat Ali Suleiman in al-Dabbagha camp.
Photo by Mohammed Azzat Ali Suleiman in al-Dabbagha camp.
Photo by Mohammed Shaaban in the Tel Salhoun camp.
Photo by Mohammed Shaaban in the Tel Salhoun camp.
Photo by Fatima al-Hamidi in al-Fareej camp.
Photo by Fatima al-Hamidi in al-Fareej camp.
Photo by Hilal al-Abdullah in the Mekseh camp.
Photo by Hilal al-Abdullah in the Mekseh camp.
Photo by Shadi Abed al-Ali in the Araab al-Ward camp.
Photo by Shadi Abed al-Ali in the Araab al-Ward camp.
Photo by Ahmed al-Amr in al-Halaniyeh camp.
Photo by Ahmed al-Amr in al-Halaniyeh camp.
Photo by Abed al-Salam Shard in the Kebb Elias camp.
Photo by Abed al-Salam Shard in the Kebb Elias camp.
Photo by Mohammed al-Saleh in the Taanayel camp.
Photo by Mohammed al-Saleh in the Taanayel camp.
Photo by Hussein al-Hussein in al-Jarah camp.
Photo by Hussein al-Hussein in al-Jarah camp.
Photo by Sarah al-Ahmed in Mashrea al-Nadaf camp.
Photo by Sarah al-Ahmed in Mashrea al-Nadaf camp.

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