20150324.45895

It’s Rare That I’m Speechless…My Photographs From Lebanon

I sent this to some friends earlier this week and thought it worth sharing more widely. Please pass it along to people who might appreciate it. 


A week ago, I was with a group of Lebanese pastors, about to return to South Africa. I’m still processing it, but I need to start sharing.

20150322.45768

Lebanon is fairly well-off, but…

20150323.45845

Since 2011, over 1,000,000 Syrian refugees have settled in Lebanon.

20150323.45820

With no permanent homes, they make tents out of old billboards.

20150323.45834

They have little to no furniture or insulation. In winter, it snows.

20150323.45836

After seeing decapitated bodies while fleeing Syria, this boy now supports his family by selling tissues and cookies, making $1-2/day. He says… “The day is sometimes beautiful… sometimes not beautiful.”

20150323.45806

The Lebanese government wants the Syrians to go back.

20150323.45800

So they don’t allow any education programs for Syrian refugees. Most of them are not able to go to school.

20150323.45812

World Vision and others are creating “Child Friendly Spaces” to help.

20150324.45922

This sheikh is also doing what he can to educate Syrian kids.

20150324.45904

The classes are filled with eager and ambitious students.

20150324.45895

The girls hope to become doctors, journalists, and engineers.

20150324.45908

And the boys, too, are eager for peace in their homeland.

20150324.46080

21,000 people live in Shatila, a Palestinian refugee “camp” that is about as densely populated as Manhattan…but without skyscrapers.

20150324.45947

Palestinians have lived here for 67 years.

20150324.45979

They’ve built 7-story ramshackle homes with improvised electricity.

20150324.45986

There are no windows in many homes. Asthma and allergies abound.

20150324.45998

Despite all this, Palestinians are taking in Syrian refugees in Shatila.

20150324.45994

Like this woman, a refugee who is cared for by other refugees.

20150324.45992

And her daughter…

20150324.46024

In addition to her own three children, this refugee has taken in two others who were abandoned by their mother.

20150324.46077

She shares a bedroom with her mom and dad and grandma and her three kids and the other two kids she has taken in. They share this kitchen with another family.

20150324.45952

His t-shirt reads, “the future will be better tomorrow.”

I’m not sure if this is a statement of hope or despair.

It’s probably both.


I wish I had something you could do for third-generation Palestinian refugees. Or these Syrian refugees. Or the Lebanese pastors who are leading the way to help. But I don’t…yet. 

Please consider sharing this, using the buttons below. Thank you.