The Lebanese camp has ‘no future’ for widows and orphans in the Syrian war

Since the beginning of Syria’s decades-long conflict, some 1.5 million refugees have fled to neighboring Lebanon, many of them sheltered in camps along the border. FRANCE 24’s journalists traveled to such a camp, a walled and gated community where women are widowed by the war to raise their children.

“There are no men here,” said Souad Salem, who arrived at the Ersal camp in northeastern Lebanon ten years ago with her husband and five children. The family of seven is now down to three. Souad has married two of his children and lost one to the war in Syria, together with her husband.

“We call it widows and orphans – we just live here,” she says. “Our men are all with God.”

Children in the camp are forced to grow up quickly, especially the girls, most of whom are married off from the age of 14.

“It’s the fate of our daughters,” Souad said. “Because we are refugees, they have no alternative.”

Click the player above to view the report by James André and Mayssa Awad from FRANCE 24.

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