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Syrian refugees find solace in rooftop garden

Thursday, January 5, 2017 7:22
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‘My spirit is relaxed when I’m out here,’ Fatin Kazzi says of her balcony garden [Olivia Alabaster/Al Jazeera]

Of the one million registered Syrian refugees in tiny Lebanon, 10 percent are considered to be food-secure. Photo By Olivia Alabaster.

By Olivia Alabaster
Sept 6, 2016


Beirut – Fatin Kazzi’s sun-drenched balcony garden is a cluster of makeshift planters, some fashioned out of crates or the ends of two-litre plastic water bottles.

Already bursting with strawberries, mint, basil, peppers and celery, the garden is just a month old, but Kazzi – who is living in Beirut as a refugee having fled Aleppo five years ago amid Syria’s civil war – eventually hopes to be able to make her own salad from the vegetables here.

“I’m a city girl. This is my first time gardening,” Kazzi said with a laugh, noting that the garden has provided her with a measure of comfort in trying times. An English literature teacher in Syria, she has been unable to find work in Beirut, while her husband has found only sporadic carpentry jobs – making it difficult to pay the rent and provide for their three children.

“My spirit is relaxed when I’m out here,” Kazzi told Al Jazeera, gazing around her little balcony garden. “It provides food and makes the terrace look nice.”

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