Lebanon: Bringing Light to a Dark Place

Bringing Light to a Dark Place

I have been part of Medair Lebanon for over a year now. As a communications officer, part of what I do is meet with families and listen to their stories. Every person I’ve met has motivated me and given me a greater appreciation of how blessed I am.

The people I’ve met have lost literally everything! Can you imagine losing your home, your land, your loved ones, and having to live in a tent with barely the minimum to survive?

Despite everything, these people are often full of strength, hope, and dignity. Ahmad, 43, is one of those people who brings light to a dark place. I met him on a sunny day spring day during a visit with the shelter team to the north of the Bekaa Valley.

As soon as we arrived at the settlement, Ahmad and his mother, Jihane, welcomed us with big smiles on their faces.  “It’s great seeing you again. Welcome!” said Ahmad.

Ahmad invited us for a cup of coffee. He and his family came to Lebanon six years ago from Aleppo.  “I never expected that anything like this would ever happen to Syria,” said Ahmad. “It used to be really safe and beautiful, and it breaks my heart every time I think about it.”

In Lebanon, Medair is helping provide individualised shelter solutions to uniquely vulnerable people living in informal settlements or sub-standard buildings—those unable to address their own shelter needs due to physical or visual impairments from birth, or resulting from illness, infection, injury, or old age.

With Ahmad’s family, we are helping his elderly parents, Jihane and Tarek, and his brother, Omar, who has paralysis on one side of his body. Omar walks on his knees and has limited use of his hands. “Back in Syria our land surface was flat and easy,” said Ahmad. “Here it’s all hills and not so smooth, so Omar used to have problems reaching the toilet or just going outside.”

We provided Omar and his parents with concrete ramps and handrails to improve their path to the outdoor latrine, a mattress for better sleep, and a commode chair.

“My dream now is to go back to our homeland one day,” said Ahmad. “It’s a natural feeling for any human being. People like you keep our hopes alive and make our lives easier as refugees. You can’t imagine how thankful we are.”

In Lebanon, Medair provides Syrian refugees like Ahmad and his family with shelter, WASH, and health services to help them make it through the crisis. Your monthly gifts make this crucial work possible. Please join the journey today.

Medair’s work in Lebanon is made possible with support from Swiss Solidarity, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, Global Affairs Canada, Gebauer Foundation (CH), UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, EU Madad Fund, and generous private donors.

This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.