12/01/2014 02:33 pm ET Updated Jan 31, 2015

Changing the Face of Lebanon's Population

With the continuing crisis in Syria, refugees keep flooding into neighboring Lebanon daily, causing a rearrangement of the population of this small country. I took these photographs back in the summer of 2013, when I visited my home country. I witnessed the birth of makeshift refugee camps along the Mediterranean seashore and I visited this particular one innocently carrying lollypops and balloons for the children. I realized after distributing the gifts to 30 of over 200 children how unprepared I was. It was shocking to see the state of the camp, the lack of water, facilities, food and medical supplies. The injured were lying under cloth tents with flies buzzing around their wounds, the children running around barefoot on the hot dirt ground and the parents looking at me with a mixture of hope and apprehension. The girl photographed above had lost both parents in the recent clashes in Syria and still she could write love on fingers and look the world with strong hopeful eyes.
If the situation continues, more than a third of Lebanon's population will be made up of Syrian refugees, a first in history as we know it.

Humanitarian organizations work tirelessly to find solutions to what could be a humanitarian disaster in a region that is weary of endless years of war and struggle.
It hurts to see my home in pain.