Ahmad, 37 years old, and Fatimah, 27 years old

My name is Fatimah, I am Ahmad’s wife and also his cousin.

I brought pictures of our wedding that I had been carrying in my handbag. I wanted to keep them with me, with us. They are important to me.

I am Ahmad. We come from the province of Ar-Raqqah. I used to live in an area known as the farm of Al-Adnanya. I left Syria 6 years ago and I have only been there for a few days ever since. We are trying to make a living here in Lebanon.

A year ago I went back to Syria and brought Fatimah, my wife, to Lebanon because it was becoming really dangerous for her to stay there. We have been here without going back at all for 11 months. Ever since the presence of ISIS in our area we were not able to go back for our own safety. The passing of the new visa laws in Lebanon made it impossible as well.

We renewed at the General Security for the first time. The 6 months have since passed and the visa has expired again. I have had my card for a few days now but my wife did not renew hers yet. I have been working as a truck driver for a company for the last 5 years. I was registered under the name of the company which I work for. Fatimah however has been in Lebanon illegally for the last 2 months.

The other day the army raided our area and they took some people away. I was one of those people. I had a motorcycle here just for transportation. I was not using it for commercial purposes or anything like that. I just used it to go to work and get back; they took it away. They said it was because it was not registered. We went to register it. I was told that since I was Syrian it could not be registered under my name. And there went the motorcycle. They took it for good.

I, myself, cannot change matters of a whole state. We are just like the Arabic proverb says: We are walking behind the drummer. We think we are living comfortably but I have been expatriated for 10 years now. I was in Qatar. I stayed in Qatar for 3 years and then from Qatar, I came here to Lebanon. I did not witness any revolution or demonstrations, or anything else at all.