CHRISTMAS IN ZAHLE
Marijn Sillis // Gieljan Van Goethem // 2013 // multimedia report
In 2011, hell broke loose in Syria. More than 770 000 (registered) refugees found shelter in Lebanon, the smallest neighboring country. One fifth of all people in Lebanon now consists of Syrian refugees. Contrary to other neighboring countries there are no official refugee camps and all humanitarian aid uses alternative ways to get there. Cameraman Gieljan Van Goethem and journalist Marijn Sillis wanted to keep the Syrian crisis on the radar. During the Christmas period of 2013, they lived in and around the monastery of Zahle, an area with 79 000 people on a stone’s throw from Beirut and the Syrian border. It’s being flooded by refugees. Living in tents or in slums. Gieljan and Marijn gave the floor to men, women and children looking for a better place to stay.