Celia Peterson

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Bekaa Valley, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: 85 years old Sharifi had tattoos produced on her hands and face when she was 10. The Dom used to be famous for this but the new generation no longer practices this tradition. In Syria she lived in a tent with no chairs and moved into a concrete home when she was married at 15 years of age. She speaks Domari and is now living in a tented settlement in the Bekaa valley: “We had everything in Syria, now we have nothing. We are happy.”

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Reyhanli, Turkey - 15/05/2015: Ahmed Seflo, 18, media student, hoping to gain a place at a Turkish university, Reyhanli, Turkey.

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Reyhanli, Turkey - 15/05/2015: Portrait of two Syrian refugees who run a website highlighting regime atrocities in Syria.

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Reyhanli, Turkey - 15/05/2015: A Syrian refugee lives in a garage with no water or electricity.

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Jadra, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: Ali in the living room of his home in Jadra.

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Shajaya, Gaza, Palestine - 20/09/2014: Portrait of a Gazan woman inside her badly damaged house. She lost many family members in 'Operation Protective Edge', including her two grand children who went out to buy milk for the family and were both killed by shelling. 35 members of her extended family all lost their homes within one hour of intense bombing, in a neighbourhood that saw 60% of the buildings destroyed.

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Bourj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: Heyam Mahmoud, 54 years old, is from the city of Akka, has never lived in Palestine but her mother lived there until she was 9 year’s old and passed along some memories of her city: “Aaka is a beautiful city, the wall is so wide a car can drive on it and it separates the sea from the city. My grandfather used to go to Jazaar mosque and he took my uncle with him to pray. We brought nothing with us, nothing [here] reminds us of Palestine except our memories. We use these memories to apply them in our weddings and social gatherings.”

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Beit Hanoun, Gaza, Palestine - 20/09/2014: A young girl awaits the arrival of water so she can fill up bottles for her family.

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BAALBECK, Lebanon: 16/02/2016: “The crisis, had a great impact on us, both men and women. Firstly, we lost a lot of our country’s men, and many women were widowed. I don’t think anyone in the whole world faced what we women did in Syria. We were the ones most affected. We are alone, some have lost their father, brother or husband. Her Husband, the house’s backbone is gone.”

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Beit Hanoun, Gaza, Palestine - 20/09/2014: Kids in the streets of the Beit Hanoun area of Gaza, heavily bombed during the August 2014 war with Israel, codenamed 'Operation Protective Edge'.

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Bourj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: Taha Issa, 78 years old, lived in Haifa for the first 9 years of his life but can hardly recall any memories from this period, finding it too painful to remember his early years in Palestine: “I can’t actually repeat things, maybe I remember but it’s been a long time, and to go back to memories is not easy.” He sometimes sees activities organized by various groups in the camps that remind him of Palestine.

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BAALBECK, Lebanon: 17/02/2016: Fatma Yahya from Damascus is 30 year’s old and is a Syrian refugee in Lebanon. She left Syria when the conflict started and is working as a hairdresser to support her husband and kids. Her husband is a refugee in Germany and she is hoping to join him with their family. Fatma stands outside her salon in Baalbeck. Fatma did various gender empowerment and leadership training with Action Aid: “the most important thing with the gender training is that I felt empowered, I am self-confident and at the same time I feel I can now support others. It’s important to have your own career and business, and not to wait for others to support you or give you aid. If I didn’t have this salon, my kids and I would be in a bad situation. I want to improve my skills and career, perhaps progress to a bigger salon.”

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BAALBECK, Lebanon: 17/02/2016: Fatma Yahya lives in Baalbeck, a conservative area in Lebanon. She finds men are not accepting of the new trend of Syrian women taking on more traditionally male roles but finds some of the more open minded men do accept it. “To be a successful woman is hard, I miss the time with my kids and my husband, I miss what they are doing at school and tracking their school work but I have to do this to survive.”

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Dubai, UAE - 16/11/2015: Mohamed Salwa, a Kushti fighter from Pakistan, followed his brothers to Dubai and is currently unemployed. He started Kushti 8 year's ago, got married, started a family and continued wrestling. He trains every morning and evening by running 2 kilometres and lifting weights.

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Dubai, UAE - 16/11/2015: Mohamed Salwa and Mohamed Nader, pose after showering with a hose pipe in a nearby wasteland after the fight.

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Bekaa Valley, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: 85 years old Sharifi had tattoos produced on her hands and face when she was 10. The Dom used to be famous for this but the new generation no longer practices this tradition. In Syria she lived in a tent with no chairs and moved into a concrete home when she was married at 15 years of age. She speaks Domari and is now living in a tented settlement in the Bekaa valley: “We had everything in Syria, now we have nothing. We are happy.”

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Reyhanli, Turkey - 15/05/2015: Ahmed Seflo, 18, media student, hoping to gain a place at a Turkish university, Reyhanli, Turkey.

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Reyhanli, Turkey - 15/05/2015: Portrait of two Syrian refugees who run a website highlighting regime atrocities in Syria.

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Reyhanli, Turkey - 15/05/2015: A Syrian refugee lives in a garage with no water or electricity.

View caption

Jadra, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: Ali in the living room of his home in Jadra.

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Shajaya, Gaza, Palestine - 20/09/2014: Portrait of a Gazan woman inside her badly damaged house. She lost many family members in 'Operation Protective Edge', including her two grand children who went out to buy milk for the family and were both killed by shelling. 35 members of her extended family all lost their homes within one hour of intense bombing, in a neighbourhood that saw 60% of the buildings destroyed.

View caption

Bourj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: Heyam Mahmoud, 54 years old, is from the city of Akka, has never lived in Palestine but her mother lived there until she was 9 year’s old and passed along some memories of her city: “Aaka is a beautiful city, the wall is so wide a car can drive on it and it separates the sea from the city. My grandfather used to go to Jazaar mosque and he took my uncle with him to pray. We brought nothing with us, nothing [here] reminds us of Palestine except our memories. We use these memories to apply them in our weddings and social gatherings.”

View caption

Beit Hanoun, Gaza, Palestine - 20/09/2014: A young girl awaits the arrival of water so she can fill up bottles for her family.

View caption

BAALBECK, Lebanon: 16/02/2016: “The crisis, had a great impact on us, both men and women. Firstly, we lost a lot of our country’s men, and many women were widowed. I don’t think anyone in the whole world faced what we women did in Syria. We were the ones most affected. We are alone, some have lost their father, brother or husband. Her Husband, the house’s backbone is gone.”

View caption

Beit Hanoun, Gaza, Palestine - 20/09/2014: Kids in the streets of the Beit Hanoun area of Gaza, heavily bombed during the August 2014 war with Israel, codenamed 'Operation Protective Edge'.

View caption

Bourj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: Taha Issa, 78 years old, lived in Haifa for the first 9 years of his life but can hardly recall any memories from this period, finding it too painful to remember his early years in Palestine: “I can’t actually repeat things, maybe I remember but it’s been a long time, and to go back to memories is not easy.” He sometimes sees activities organized by various groups in the camps that remind him of Palestine.

View caption

BAALBECK, Lebanon: 17/02/2016: Fatma Yahya from Damascus is 30 year’s old and is a Syrian refugee in Lebanon. She left Syria when the conflict started and is working as a hairdresser to support her husband and kids. Her husband is a refugee in Germany and she is hoping to join him with their family. Fatma stands outside her salon in Baalbeck. Fatma did various gender empowerment and leadership training with Action Aid: “the most important thing with the gender training is that I felt empowered, I am self-confident and at the same time I feel I can now support others. It’s important to have your own career and business, and not to wait for others to support you or give you aid. If I didn’t have this salon, my kids and I would be in a bad situation. I want to improve my skills and career, perhaps progress to a bigger salon.”

View caption

BAALBECK, Lebanon: 17/02/2016: Fatma Yahya lives in Baalbeck, a conservative area in Lebanon. She finds men are not accepting of the new trend of Syrian women taking on more traditionally male roles but finds some of the more open minded men do accept it. “To be a successful woman is hard, I miss the time with my kids and my husband, I miss what they are doing at school and tracking their school work but I have to do this to survive.”

View caption

Dubai, UAE - 16/11/2015: Mohamed Salwa, a Kushti fighter from Pakistan, followed his brothers to Dubai and is currently unemployed. He started Kushti 8 year's ago, got married, started a family and continued wrestling. He trains every morning and evening by running 2 kilometres and lifting weights.

View caption

Dubai, UAE - 16/11/2015: Mohamed Salwa and Mohamed Nader, pose after showering with a hose pipe in a nearby wasteland after the fight.