Living with cancer is frightening wherever you are. But what if your hospital was hit by missiles? What if you had to move away from your child? For Rabia, a refugee from the Syria crisis, sewing workshops are an emotional lifeline.
Rabia was born in Lebanon but spent most of her adult life in Syria, after marrying a Syrian man. She has two children, aged 13 and 17. She returned to Lebanon with her youngest son 18 months ago, after being diagnosed with cancer. The pair live with another family in a ground-floor apartment in Tripoli.
“I was getting good treatment in Syria,” Rabia explains. “But the war stopped all that. The hospital where I was being seen was hit by missiles. So many doctors have fled Syria. I came to Lebanon to try and get treatment.”
She’s joined embroidery workshops funded by Concern. Women can sell what they stitch, earning a small but vital income. But they can also let off steam, swap advice and help each other through an incredibly tough time.
One of Rabia’s friends at the classes, Samira, explains why Rabia is so popular there.