أهلا بك/



You've arrived in Lebanon, where a quarter of its population are refugees fleeing the conflict over the border in Syria – a country 18 times larger than Lebanon.

Come with us and see a World of Difference in the city of Beirut, where Tearfund's partners are offering a welcome home to refugees, while the country faces its own problems...

1.5 million

1.5 million

refugees live in Lebanon



of the population are refugees from Syria



Syrian refugees have received monthly food and hygiene supplies


A family forced to seek refuge with good neighbors...

Sakeena is a mother of three from Syria, but only her daughter lives with her now in their home in Beirut. The family had a peaceful home in Syria surrounded by flowers, fruit trees and Sakeena’s clothes shop.

"I remember a time where everybody was happy," says Sakeena. "We'd spend time with family and neighbours. We lived a comfortable, happy and calm life." All of this was destroyed in the conflict. "Even my daughter's toys," she says.

Life started to become unbearable as the conflict closed in. Sakeena hoped that kind people from neighboring Lebanon would welcome them. But first they had to risk their lives to get there…

Sakeena washing dishes in her kitchen in the makeshift settlement for Syrian refugees in Beirut, Lebanon | Credit: Ruth Towell/Tearfund

An armed group came and took over Sakeena's community. Two years of bombing and torment followed. Their house and the house next door were hit. "My daughter still wakes at night fearing the bombing," says Sakeena.

Eventually, their home was destroyed and the family ended up sleeping in nearby fields. They made a break for the border. "We ran past dead bodies and didn’t look back."

They paid a smuggler $500 – from money saved from her shop – and were taken and locked in a room. At 3 am they were loaded on a vegetable truck with many other families.

The children were so frightened they just froze. Children of all ages were put in nappies so they could last the journey. The truck only stopped once to use the toilet and the passengers drank out of puddles.

When they arrived in Beirut, they joined a settlement of Syrian refugees. "I loved my home in Syria. But this is nothing like it," says Sakeena. It's just a room, a small toilet and a tiny kitchen.

Thankfully, Tearfund's partner – through the Tahaddi Centre – have been helping Sakeena and her daughter. Tahaddi's health center provides free medical care to hundreds of patients.

Tahaddi's social work team gives extra care and support for Syrian refugees, including trauma counseling, home visits and material assistance. By showing solidarity to families like Sakeena's, the center staff are reaching out to the community with love and compassion.

Rami Kaskas, Tearfund's Syria Operational Support Manager, asks for prayer for his country | Credit: Ruth Towell/Tearfund



How Christians can offer hope after conflict


Rami Kaskas, Tearfund's Syria Operational Support Manager believes it is crucial that Christians from Syria are part of peacebuilding and helping with the country's reconstruction.


For me, it is important to work for a Christian organization. I want to practice my faith, as a Christian Syrian and see how I can help people using those values. We are here to build peace and love among the Syrian community. Our strategy is about peacebuilding, social cohesion and trauma support. Through Tearfund's values and faith, we can really deliver these to the Syrian people.

A pot of arabic tea, which families traditionally offer as a greeting to visitors across the Middle East


Syrian refugees still pride themselves on their hospitality

The offering of tea has become a symbol of Arabic hospitality. Upon entering a home, you will always be provided with a brew. Arabic tea (شاي عربي /shay arabiyy) has been the beverage of choice for centuries across the Middle East.

Although Syrian refugees often arrived in Lebanon with nothing, they still uphold the tradition of giving their guests hot sweet tea, always from a pot on a tray with the beverage served in small glass cups.


We hope you enjoyed your time in Lebanon. Where will you be visiting next? Well, you'll just have to wait and see…

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