Halima al-Haj is a thirty-year old woman, who has been living in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon since 2012. Al-Haj was a housewife back in Syria, living in a city called Kherbat Ghazala in Daraa province. They left Syria due to the shelling that was targeting their house randomly. They decided to move to Lebanon, where she has relatives, also because she could not go to or get smuggled into any other country like Jordan. Al-Haj said it was very hard to settle in Shatila due to the lack of security, the weapons and drugs that are spread among the youths, and the lack of basic things such as power, which is often cut. She first became interested in photography by taking photos of her family. Al-Haj was one of the femLENS documentary photography workshop participants, in October 2017.
Alleys and Wires
Electric wires make me feel scared and many young people in Shatila camp have died while repairing electricity. One day, my laundry was burned by electric wires. Electricity may be cut off from the first drop of rain when winter comes.
I feel scared when I’m inside the alleys, I am afraid to meet someone who is drunk, or stoned. For the ally is very narrow, people cannot walk easily beside each other. I am afraid to enter the narrow streets when the end is blocked, I feel like the grave when the electricity is cut and very dark.