john and jeanette / by Maranie Staab

john and jeanette stand inside of their makeshift home on the outskirts of beirut, lebanon. 
originally from a village outside of homs called wadi alsace they, along with their 10 year old son, george, now live within the basement space of an apartment building — john is the maintenance man. 
in syria, john had been a small business owner running both a supermarket and a butchery in homs. 
they were only 1 of 3 christian families in their village and in 2011 daesch began to threaten people telling them that they must leave. 
initially, they didn’t take the threats seriously. the family left to visit jeanette’s sister in another village for a week and when they came back there were people in his house. men had taken the home (daesh) and wouldn't even allow him to take any personal items; “what will my children play with if you take your things?” responded one member of isis when george requested a few personal items. 
left with nothing, their home and businesses seized, john, jeanette and george left the country and arrived in beirut in february 2012. 
among the “fortunate” displaced persons in lebanon, george was able to find work as the maintenance man at the housing complex. he described the the first month being incredibly difficult and scary as he was on a trial period with the job job. now he is familiar with the work and is not ashamed to do it. 
when asked what they wanted most their response was simple — “give us peace and the opportunity to provide a future for our son; we need the 'prince of peace'; with him all things are possible”