Alison Phillips

Smiling through the pain

Fadia greets me with a warm smile of welcome lighting up her face and takes me to her home in Burj al-Barajne camp, Beirut, where I am to stay for three weeks, trying to help with a summer activity program for some of the children, and to improve the English of her kindergarten teachers. She has an infectious laugh and seems to find much to smile about. As I stay in the camp and learn more of what it means to be a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon I marvel at her strength of character, a common feature of the Palestinian women I have met.