Sunday, January 24, 2016

Child of Syrian Migrants, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

At the time this image was made, Syria was more stable than Lebanon. Regardless this young child and her family has migrated to the Bekaa Valley in search of better employment. Although they lived in tents and lacked anything resembling modern conveniences, they did at least have work and hope for a better future.

A decade or so later, I wonder about this young girl and her family. Where are they living now? Are they still in Lebanon or are they living in Syria? Have they migrated once again, perhaps to Europe now?

This is where my photography was born, with this young girl and her friends in the Bekaa Valley of my homeland, Lebanon. A simple taxi ride to their area and a subsequent cup of tea gave birth to this work, two decades of photography and hundreds of thousands of images.

The effects of the hot sun and dry wind can be seen on her skin, and in the texture of her hair. Most wear shirts and sweaters with words they will never understand. They play in the dirt paths in front of the tents and as soon as they reach working age, they begin walking down lanes of vegetables for a dozen hours each day for less than the price of a cup of coffee overseas.

When each of us purchases such at our local coffee shop, we are putting on the countertop the amount that this young girl works an entire day for under very difficult conditions. This applies to me of course, and makes me pause almost every single time.

I do hope that she and all children under such conditions are safer today than yesterday, and that such violence can be a thing of the past in the near future. I understand that to have this hope is to be naive, nonetheless I have it.

Note: This image was made with a Contax G system.

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