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Mashghara – Bekaa Valley (LBN)

In July 2016, Jungleye conducted a workshop in an informal settlement located in the Bekaa Valley. Lebanon hosts more than 1.5 million of Syrian refugees in a country of 4 million people. Refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley are informal and scattered in between wide agricultural fields where displaced persons can work only during summer in exchange for a small amount of money to live.

This was Jungleye’s first workshop exclusively for children. The particpants were 9 to 14 years old and included 12 boys (Abdu, Abdo, Abdelaziz, Adham, Akram, Awad, Bahaa, Bassam, Hamdo, Ibrahim, Ali, Salah) and 3 girls (Hiba, Safah and Amni). In the camp, children do not have access to basic education, so the organizing a photography workshop was a way to teach them team work and, even for a short time, to give them a chance to learn and to express their ideas, emotions and imagination. The main topics mentioned by the refugees were water, education and lack of access to UN aid. Since the camp is an informal settlement, it cannot be registered with the UN (a registration issue since 2015), and, subsequently cannot receive any UN aid.

On the first day of the workshop, the municipality stopped the water channels providing water to the camp. Children then quickly agreed to focus their work on the water issue. The young photographers went to work, documenting the issue from every side, examining the source of water, water channels, water in the camp, water in the shelter, water in their daily life, water in the fields, and the impact of water on their health. By the end of the workshop, the children had created two photo essays. The first focused on their living condition in the camp regarding water supply and the second portrayed refugee workers in agricultural fields.

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New Syria. ©Jungleye/Abdu/2016
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The spring that gives us water. ©Jungleye/Adam/2016
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Open your eyes, life is beautiful! ©Jungleye/Ibrahim/2016
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Preparing my daily bath. ©Jungleye/Baraa/2016
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Not even allowed to drink water. ©Jungleye/Abdulaziz/2016
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Pushing for life. ©Jungleye/Abdu/2016
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I am 80, but my porblems are bigger than my age. ©Jungleye/Hamdo/2016
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From water tanks in our homes in Syria to dirty and unhealthy water cans in the camp. ©Jungleye/Bahaa/2016
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Pointless life. ©Jungleye/Awad/2016
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New old techniques for water insulation. ©Jungleye/Abdulaziz/2016
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We are struggling to survive. ©Jungleye/Yasmine/2016
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Wasting water is forbidden here. ©Jungleye/Abdulaziz/2016
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I wish no one will come and reachthe water before me. ©Jungleye/Bahaa/2016
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It is not a game. ©Jungleye/Safah/2016
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What a shit! ©Jungleye/Abdulaziz/2016
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In Syria we used to have a bathroom. Here, we need wood to heat our water for shower. ©Jungleye/Bahaa/2016
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This is how we became vegan. ©Jungleye/Abdu/2016
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Rest in peace my son. I wish my day would have came before yours. ©Jungleye/Abdulaziz/2016
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Narguile is bad for your health but it is our only way to relax at the end of a tough day. ©Jungleye/Salah/2016
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One day, it will be juice in my glass. ©Jungleye/Awad/2016
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Come live in a camp, you will grow up so fast! ©Jungleye/Amni/2016
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They even tried to seize our gardens, but they won’t seize our happiness. ©Jungleye/Yasmine/2016
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This is how we live in the 21st century. What for the 22nd ? ©Jungleye/Abdu/2016
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Watering to survive. ©Jungleye/Akram/2016
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I wish there would be water in this jar. ©Jungleye/Akram/2016
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It doesn’t taste that bad. ©Jungleye/Basaam/2016
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No answer. ©Jungleye/Adam/2016
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Drinking 2L of water per day is good for health they said. ©Jungleye/Abdulaziz/2016
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Hide & Seek ©Jungleye/Akram/2016
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Fruitcare. ©Jungleye/Abdu/2016
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