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Welcome to my world

17 September 2019, Voices from the Field

Forced to flee his war-torn home, burdened with responsibilities beyond his years, Siraj* shares his story of life as a displaced Syrian refugee. 

Take a glimpse inside 13-year-old Siraj’s life in the Bekka Valley, Lebanon; the grinding toil of his daily routine, his dream of obtaining an education, and his hopes for a better future. Siraj tells his story in his own words in these four short videos. 

What’s it like for refugee children living in a tent city?

“This is how I imagine it. I will pursue my studies and get a diploma maybe become a doctor or a teacher. I’ll have a house, get married and live the best life.” An optimist with a smile as big as his dreams, teenage Siraj hopes for a better life. But the reality of the hardship he endures living with his mother and siblings in a tented settlement in Lebanon, is far from the comfort he wishes for.

A terrifying escape in the middle of the night

“There were check points, there were bombings...we thought it was better to leave Syria, so we wouldn’t be killed…we left with the car’s lights off…because we were frightened the minute we turned the lights on someone would shoot us.” Siraj tells how he escaped Syria with his family in a long, frightening journey via war-torn Idlib to safety in Lebanon. 

A hard day’s work

“My siblings are still young, mum can’t provide for all of us on her own…Sometimes when it’s busy at work, I start at 4am and come home at 7pm.” His mother and father had a dream for Siraj of an education, obtaining a degree, maybe even a PHD.  But that dream seems a long way off as he labours for long hours in the fields just to secure enough food for his family to eat. 

A big day at school

“When I was still working I didn’t have time to study. Now I do…I’d rather go to school than work...If it works out I’ll be very happy because I’ll learn, study and meet new people.” Back at school and studying for exams, Siraj has the chance to nourish his endless optimism and work on making his dreams of a better life come true.  

* Names have been changed to protect identities. 

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