Halima, 45 years old

I have been in Lebanon for 11 months. I come from Raqqa, the province of Raqqa. We traveled to Lebanon through Masnaa using the official legal channels. I was with my husband, my 2 boys, and my girl. I have 2 other girls also. We are from the countryside. When I was a child our neighbor made my face tattoo. It hurt. It was done with a needle. I do not know what it means. It is a traditional decorative thing. My daughter does not have one. My husband says that why would she have it? We are in the 21st century!

I have had my rosary for 6 years. I would wear it around my neck. I was wearing it when I left. I would have forgotten to bring it if I was not wearing it. I take it off when I shower and then put it back around my neck. We left with the clothes we were wearing… and everything else. What could we have brought? I use the rosary for prayer.

I will not lie to you. When we had the chance we just left even though no strikes hit us directly. Around us, the situation was different, yes. We do not think of going back because the situation is not very good. Still, our country is dear to us.

I have nothing but my husband and these little children. I do not have any older ones. We have nothing, no land, no farm to harvest, nothing. How can we survive? We have nothing, no one who can work. This old man here, my husband, cannot work. He has an ulcer and he cannot do much. He is sitting at home. We get help and food from the UN. My oldest son does not work; he is a child still. We have all our relatives in this camp. What can we do? Lebanon feels kind of normal to us but we miss our home.

To come here we took a bus straight from Raqqa. We travelled at night so I do not know which cities we passed on the way. My husband says that we came through Palmyra, Damascus, and Masnaa.