‘The Art of Sharing Life’: Documenting Life in Palestinian Camps in Lebanon (Part I)

Old people at work by Mohammed Badawieh. (Photo: Supplied)

Following three days of training in Shatila camp in Beirut, and a day of fieldwork, participants in the ‘The Art of Sharing Life Stories with the Masses’, produced twelve projects, each of which conveyed a unique story either through a series of six photos or a short video.

The Majed Abu Sharar Media Foundation, (MASMF) organized the four-day workshop, in partnership with the Center for Refugee Rights ‘Aidoun’, (CPR), and the support of the Norwegian People’s Aid, (NPA). Mexican American filmmaker and photographer Alejandro Gomez-Meade introduced trainees to the art of documentary storytelling before presenting the elements necessary to create a documentary story through a series of photos or short video, stressing the importance of building trust between the trainees and their central characters.

Consequently, the stories produced by the twelve trainees tackled a number of issues; either directly related to the hardship of life in Palestinian camps in Lebanon, or the continuous attachment Palestinian refugees demonstrate towards their rich culture and traditions, or simple human pleasures that are usually taken for granted, and others topics like pollution and its consequences on the environment.

People of the Camp

It is no secret that life in Palestinian camps in Lebanon is a tough one; refugees young and old struggle to make ends meet. But people make all the difference, their resilience and optimism against all odds make them continue everyday for a better tomorrow. Our three stories featured here are those of men and women in Shatila camp in the Lebanese capital Beirut, and in Rashidieh camp in Tyre the south of the country who work hard to provide for themselves or for their families.

These three stories amongst others were produced following the four-day training by MASMF.

Title: Old People Work

Location: Sabra Street, Beirut, Lebanon 

Description: Abu Ali is an old man who works as a vegetable seller at a dealer in Sabra Street. Abu Ali is still working to this day only to support the education of his children so they may obtain a decent living with a safe future.

Photographer: Mohammed Badawieh, Daouk gathering, Beirut, Lebanon

Old people at work by Mohammed Badawieh.

Title: A Glitter of Life 

Location: Rashidieh camp, Tyre, Lebanon

Description: Dalal is a woman in her forties, whose life forced her to strike her plow in the ground in order to fight the surrounding harsh conditions. She became the primary breadwinner for her children and she knew that perhaps everyone around her might fail her or she might even carelessly fail herself. Despite everything however, she believes she will prevail. 

Photographer: Rania Al Kot, Rashidieh camp, Tyre, Lebanon

A Glitter of Life by Rania Al Kot.

Title: Women in the Camp

Location: Shatila Camp, Beirut Lebanon 

Description:  Women participate in all walks- of-life with men under very hard circumstances; she is a mother, a worker and a protector. Despite life’s hardship, women keep aspiring for a better reality.

Photographer:  Wissam Majdalawi, Gaza, Palestine, currently lives in Mar Elias camp, Beirut, Lebanon

Women of the camp by Wissam Majdalawi.

– MASMF works on empowering the youth in Palestinian camps and gatherings in the media field through journalism training to give them the voice to convey their stories to the world professionally away from the stereotypes of the mainstream media. MASMF is collaborating with Palestine Chronicle to publish these stories thus giving Palestinians and other marginalized groups in Lebanon a venue through which their voices can be heard by a wider spectrum of people. For more information regarding MASMF and the work it does you can visit or website or Facebook page.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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