Arraf Khalil
Camp resident

I came from the outskirts of Aleppo. I have five children; three boys and two girls. We’ve been living in Shatila for around two and a half years to escape the insecurity. There was the Syrian army, then the Free Syrian Army, then ISIS, and then the Free Syrian Army again. It was never calm.
So we left to Lebanon. First, we stayed in a shelter in the Bekaa Valley, and when I got some work and money, we moved to Shatila. We chose Shatila because it was the cheapest place and there was a school nearby for my children.  Here we can pay around $250 for two rooms. Work is very limited; I haven’t worked for two to three months now.
Everything about living here is hard, especially for the children. There are drugs and violence. A month after we arrived, two boys living next door were killed. There’s violence, yelling, and frustration in the streets and in the classroom. For the children, they see all of this and they don’t understand what is going on. They are growing up in this environment and I worry about them. We are trying to protect them from these sights, but we can’t do anything. I am tired. I think a lot about my children’s education in the school and their future. I want to leave for my children’s sake. This is not a good life for them.
There’s racism on top of the general difficulties we are facing here. In this space Syrians are not safe. The majority of the Syrians here want to leave and head elsewhere. Most of us feel like we are living in a prison. (July 20, 2017)