asma / by Maranie Staab

asma, age 4, meets my eye during a visit with her family inside the dbauyeh palestinian refugee camp located slightly outside of the the city of beirut, lebanon. the camp, one of 12 within lebanon was initially established decades ago to house displaced palestinians. since mid 2011, the camp has seen an overwhelming influx of people as displaced syrian refugees come to lebanon in search of safety. 

the already squalid, cramped conditions of the camp have become increasingly strained and desperate as thousands of syrians have sought refuge within their walls. 

the more i travel, the more i learn. the more i learn, the more aware i become of just how much i do not yet know or fully understand. the middle east -- and all of its past and present intricacies (religious, political, social, cultural, geographic etc) is fascinating to me. as I find myself spending more and more time here i feel myself being pulled into its many beautiful, if not complex, layers.