The Macksey Journal


The Syrian refugee crisis provides a modern context for a very old problem. One of the smallest and most financially and politically unstable nations, Lebanon has become one of the largest receivers of Syrian refugees. While NGOs have served a leading role in responding to the crisis in Lebanon by providing services including healthcare and education, their efforts have been hindered due to economic and political instability in Lebanon. With a massive refugee crisis underway that has displaced families around the world due to violence, persecution, and crippling poverty, much of the world has been complacent. This paper delves into the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon from two perspectives. The first is a historical overview of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the role of NGOs within Lebanon, and the underlying educational and health effects of the crisis. The second perspective delves into my work in the Jurahiye refugee camp in the Bekaa valley as part of the Jusoor Summer Volunteer Program. Specifically, I look into the role of storytelling and narrative as historical artifact and act of witnessing. I challenged my students, ranging in age from nine to fourteen, to tell a story and believe that in the process of writing their lives they might find a moment of healing and an outlet of control.