Holding On To Tradition & Heritage – Syria’s Bedouins In Refugee Camps

Men and women eat separately within many Bedouin communities, an invitation to eat with the men is considered an honor. Sweetened hot tea, yogurt made from fresh milk, eggs from hand raised chickens and traditional spices accompany wood fired flatbread. Politics, community and war were topics of discussion

 

Documentary and Commercial Photographer Sarah Herman is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From her project ‘Badawai Bedouin Syrians – Southern Lebanon‘. To see Sarah’s documentaries click on any image.

 

A young Bedouin girl sustained burns during her escape from Syria

 

Bedouin Syrians are an ancient tribal community hailing from the desert regions of Syria. The Bedouins are some of the most affected refugees by the ongoing war, losing not only their land and livestock but also their livelihood. A loyal, interconnected group of people that rely on community, honor and family to exist. The governmental camps set up for escaping refugees do not fit with their nomadic traditions that drive them to move with the rhythm of the agricultural seasons.

 

Traditional Bedouin garments

 

Many of the Bedouin communities have set up undocumented camps on the borders of Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Sustaining the community by raising livestock, working the land along the camps and coming together as a community ensuring survival despite the loss of their homeland. Unlike many of the refugees abiding time in government run camps, the Bedouins have no hope of returning home and have adapted and overcome many of the barriers they have encountered to preserve their traditions and heritage.

 

Women in the tribe bond over baking bread for the community

 

A lesson in tossing the dough for flatbread

 

Women in the tribe bake flat bread in rudimentary wood fired ovens two times a day for the entire community

Bedouin undocumented camp in rural Southern Lebanon

 

Goats, chicken and sheep are raised within the community to provide fresh milk, eggs. The animals are slaughtered on special occasions and when they become to old to produce eggs or milk

 

Bedouin tents are battered by the high winds on large open expanses of rural agriculture land

 

Communities are constructed in rural agricultural areas close to the Syrian/Lebanon borders utilizing abandoned buildings and found objects

 

See also:

Lebanon – On The Verge

By Sarah Herman

 


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