Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs a mental health programme in Ain el-Helweh, in Saida, Lebanon. More and more patients are Palestinian refugees who fled Syria and suffer from a high level of trauma. Read more: From Syria to Ain el-Helweh: Alleviating the suffering of refugees in Saida
Ahmad, 19 (left) & Ahmad, 28 (right) came with their families to this tented gathering inside the Ain el-Helweh Palestinian camp in Saida three months ago. They fled the Yarmouk Palestinian camp near Damascus. “Our main need is to have a suitable shelter. We have no money left and Lebanon is very expensive compared to Syria. We can’t find work”. The day before Ahmad (28) helped to unload a truck of food boxes and received one box at the end of the day”. Last year, he was hit by shrapnel and carries a large scar on his left arm. His brother is still in Syria.
Ahmad, a 19 year old Palestinian refugee, was a professional ballet dancer in Syria. He came with his mother and sister. “In Syria, we kept moving from one place to another to flee the bombings”. Ahmad’s dream is to live in Australia: “We cannot live here and we cannot go back to Syria, because there’s bombing. We want to go”.
Children playing inside the Ain el-Helweh camp. Around 60 Palestinian families who fled the war in Syria have gathered in and around what used to be a social and cultural centre. Most came from Yarmouk camp near Damascus.
In the tented gathering inside the Ain el-Helweh Palestinian camp in Saida, children are playing inside a small tent they built themselves, replicating the shelters in which they live.
Children playing in the tented gathering inside the Ain el-Helweh camp in Saida
In the tented gathering inside the Ain el-Helweh Palestinian camp in Saida, this two-month old little boy arrived with his mother from Syria one week after his birth.
Rabeeh and his wife share the room with Mahmood and his family, separated in two. His wife was pregnant and lost her baby during the conflict. Rabeeh thinks about his brother who went missing. He’s very worried and depressed as he doesn’t know what happened to him. He’s crying most of the time. “Life is black, I have nightmares. I don’t know how to deal with this situation. I lost everything”.