Ali, 70 years old

I come from the city of al-Tabqah in the province of Raqqa and I migrated to Lebanon 2 years ago with my family. Shelling started in the city so I feared for my children. We gathered our things and went to Damascus first. From there we travelled to Masnaa legally since our papers were valid and complete. However since the new law was introduced in Lebanon our movements out of the camp have become scarce because we are afraid of being arrested. The visa renewal has been almost impossible.

I did not bring anything except for a radio I have owned for 35 years. It is older than my oldest son. I bought it from a man who did not know its real value. This radio is very dear to my heart and I do not allow anyone to touch it. I put it out of reach so no one can drop or break it. What if my daughter dropped it? What am I to tell her then? They do not realize how important it is to me and they have no business with it. When I am away I lock in a closet so no one touches it. This radio is a piece of my body and through it I learn about the news of the whole world. It has been working ever since I got it. If anything malfunctions I repair it myself and never take it to anyone else to have it fixed. I know all the detailed parts of it; every signal and every LED light. As a Japanese product it is special and the best quality there is. One must have a feeling for it to fully understand it and pieces for it are not being produced anymore. Back in Raqqa I used to have a whole collection of music tapes. All of them used to work on this machine but I did not bring any with me. The radio stations and the news remain the base of what I listen to. That way I know what is going on in the world without moving an inch. I know all the stations on it and the exact time the news is broadcasted on each one of them. The radio has 3 stations and depending on the time, I know what to listen to. I mean there is Monte Carlo that broadcasts the news at a certain time… and Radio London at another time, and Syria has a different schedule. But the news is like being lost in the sea… every time there is a wave you find yourself on another side… every time I tune to a different station, I go to another side, and at the end I just sit in the corner…

I used to work as a driver in Syria but now I have no job. I have 9 children, one of whom is a child with special needs, and I do not have enough money in my pocket to even take a taxi to the doctor, before I can even consider paying for the doctor’s visit itself!