Celia Peterson

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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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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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BAALBECK, Lebanon: “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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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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Bourj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: 6 year old Sanaa’s mother, Fatima Eisa Ramadan, is 41 year’s old and is from El Zeeb near Akka. Her father escaped Palestine as the Israelis were bombing the area. She has never seen Palestine herself but has been told it “is paradise on earth, so beautiful with its trees and fruit”. Nothing ‘reminds’ her of Palestine in Bourj el Barajneh. She prefers not to mingle with the people in the camp, seeing them as “following western traditions, not so traditional”.

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Bourj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: Zahwa Mohammad Ashwaque is 55 years old from Haifa but was born in Lebanon. “I was born in Lebanon, I have 5 children. Yes, a Palestinian who never saw Palestine, we were born in Lebanon, and we`re still in Lebanon. They say that Palestine is so beautiful, yes, priceless, they say it`s so beautiful, and so fine. We don’t know personally anything about it, and we never saw it.” “Only the abayas, the ‘official’ one, remind me of Palestine here.”

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Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: 9 year old Hussein outside his home with his pet cat in the Hayy Al Gharbeh area. Hussein goes to a local education centre next door to his house to study. Many Dom children, despite having been granted Lebanese citizenship, struggle to gain entry to the public school system due to the effects of generational poverty and if they do go often leave because of the discrimination they face from other children.

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Bourj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: 33 year old Darjeh Ahed Mousa is from Zooum. “Yes, I`m from Zooum, but I don’t know from where exactly there, I was born in Lebanon. Palestine is a beautiful country, its people, its houses, its trees , everything is beautiful there, I’ve even seen it on the TV, in the news. I wish I could go.” “Palestine? The way they dress, this embroidery. What reminds us of our country here is the clothing, the embroidery, the abayas, the flags of Palestine, this all remind us of Palestine.”

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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.

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

BAALBECK, Lebanon: “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

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.

View caption

Bourj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: 6 year old Sanaa’s mother, Fatima Eisa Ramadan, is 41 year’s old and is from El Zeeb near Akka. Her father escaped Palestine as the Israelis were bombing the area. She has never seen Palestine herself but has been told it “is paradise on earth, so beautiful with its trees and fruit”. Nothing ‘reminds’ her of Palestine in Bourj el Barajneh. She prefers not to mingle with the people in the camp, seeing them as “following western traditions, not so traditional”.

View caption

Bourj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: Zahwa Mohammad Ashwaque is 55 years old from Haifa but was born in Lebanon. “I was born in Lebanon, I have 5 children. Yes, a Palestinian who never saw Palestine, we were born in Lebanon, and we`re still in Lebanon. They say that Palestine is so beautiful, yes, priceless, they say it`s so beautiful, and so fine. We don’t know personally anything about it, and we never saw it.” “Only the abayas, the ‘official’ one, remind me of Palestine here.”

View caption

Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: 9 year old Hussein outside his home with his pet cat in the Hayy Al Gharbeh area. Hussein goes to a local education centre next door to his house to study. Many Dom children, despite having been granted Lebanese citizenship, struggle to gain entry to the public school system due to the effects of generational poverty and if they do go often leave because of the discrimination they face from other children.

View caption

Bourj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut, Lebanon - 15/10/2016: 33 year old Darjeh Ahed Mousa is from Zooum. “Yes, I`m from Zooum, but I don’t know from where exactly there, I was born in Lebanon. Palestine is a beautiful country, its people, its houses, its trees , everything is beautiful there, I’ve even seen it on the TV, in the news. I wish I could go.” “Palestine? The way they dress, this embroidery. What reminds us of our country here is the clothing, the embroidery, the abayas, the flags of Palestine, this all remind us of Palestine.”