Khadra’s journey from Homs, Syria, to northern Lebanon is a testament to the resilience and perseverance of a mother determined to provide for her family under the most harrowing conditions. At 50 years old, this Syrian refugee widow, alongside her five sons, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren, faces the daily challenge of survival in an informal refugee settlement, where the specter of eviction looms large due to unpaid rent.

Her resourcefulness in feeding her family is both heart-wrenching and inspiring. Sifting through garbage to find rice and burghul infested with mites, then painstakingly cleaning and cooking it without proper oil, Khadra does whatever it takes to ensure her family has the strength to face each day. The sacrifice of nutritional value for sustenance is a stark reminder of the dire circumstances many refugees endure.

Khadra’s situation is further complicated by Lebanon’s economic crisis, which has seen prices soar and the local currency plummet in value, making basic necessities like rice and potatoes unaffordable for the most vulnerable. Despite receiving assistance from UNHCR, the aid is barely enough to cover the cost of cooking gas, leaving Khadra to fend for food, rent, and medicine.

The decision to send her son Adnan to work on the streets, selling tissues and collecting scrap metal, highlights the bleak prospects for many refugee children who miss out on education and face a future of limited opportunities. Adnan’s long hours and meager earnings underscore the harsh realities of refugee life, where every day is a struggle for survival.

Yet, amidst these hardships, the kindness of local Lebanese who offer food and clothing to Khadra and her family shines a light on the compassion that exists even in the toughest times. This support, albeit modest, is a glimmer of hope for Khadra and countless others who navigate the complexities of refugee life, reminding us of the shared humanity that binds us all in the face of adversity.