February 24, 2015
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon (CNS) — Many Lebanese have spent as much time as possible indoors this winter, protecting themselves from this year’s unusually brutal cold season.
But for the approximately half a million Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, their makeshift housing — often flimsy tents or abandoned unfinished buildings — has hardly given them sufficient shelter from the continuous storms that have been pounding the mountains since last fall.
“The hardest part is being cold and not being able to leave the tent. Where would I go?” asked Safia Hassan Hussein, a Syrian refugee from Aleppo who shares a tent with seven family members in the town of Bar Elias. Their informal tented settlement, called Moussa Jassem, is one of about 600 in the Bekaa Valley. These settlements often have 200 tents, each housing anywhere from five to 15 people.