Eight year old Nada loves to help her mother with cooking and tending the flower garden they have grown outside their tent. Her mother, Um Mohamed, has decorated the inside walls of their tent with pale blue satin and frilled curtains. ‘I want to be a children’s doctor,’ says Nada. ‘The one thing I want in this world is that people won’t get sick.’
Housni is a food distributions volunteer and has the kind of infectious laugh that sends everyone around him into laughter too.
‘I like smiling. It’s good for me. I think that God gave me this smile and made me happy.
Four years ago my brother was killed in Homs, my city. A lot of bad things happened. It was very beautiful, a place of peace and life, but just one minute changed everything. Now it has no life, no buildings or anything.
When I’m in the camps helping everybody and giving out food parcels, I forget about everything in my life. At that moment I am happy - I give to people, I am smiling with everybody, everything is good, this is my life. When I come back home and sit to drink tea or coffee, I remember. But in my work, I don’t think about it.
When I started spending time with my God, praying and reading the Bible and going to church, I felt everything change in my life. God touched my heart and gave me peace.
God is good to anybody - Christian or Muslim people. I don’t make any difference, thinking that this Christian is good, this Muslim not. No, God watches everybody and loves everybody.
I don’t have any money. But every month in my home, there’s a knock at the door and somebody visits me and gives me food or clothes. I don’t know these people, God sends them to me.
I don’t think too hard about anything. It’s enough that God thinks about me. Yes, everything is good. I think God can fix everything in my life.’
Eighteen year old Fadi is a warehouse volunteer.
‘The pressure was so, so hard on me. There are 15 or 20 of my friends who’ve been killed. When you see people sending bombs on your area and killing your friends... I wanted to fight because I wanted revenge.
I know now that God wants a better future for me, and he doesn’t want me to fight. I’ve changed a lot of things. There is a verse that says all things work together for good. My Mum, when I was in Syria, was always telling me this verse. When I got here to Lebanon I realised how much it’s true in my life.
Before, I was wondering why this thing is happening to me. But when I saw the refugees living in those camps and tents and in terrible conditions, I realised that my situation is way better than theirs. When I’m giving them the parcels and I see the smile on their faces, it does something to you. When they know that we are Syrian, it makes them happier to see that Syrians are helping them. So I make sure to tell them that I’m a Syrian too. They say, ‘Oh really?’ and it starts a conversation. It’s so encouraging.’
Ahed al Khaled