Working with refugee youth in Lebanon.

Ali Jehad Start Date: Jun 11, 2018 - End Date: Dec 10, 2018

My Travel Story

by: Ali Jehad Start Date: Jun 11, 2018 - End Date: Dec 10, 2018

My name is Ali Jehad and I’m a 32 year old freelance photographer living in Malmö, Sweden.

I came to Sweden in 1993 as a 7 year old refugee after being confined for 3 years in the Saudi Arabian desert following the Gulf War.


I was blessed to arrive to such a beautiful and kind country and the sense of appreciation stayed with me throughout the years.
But the childhood memories of fleeing my homeland also stuck with me, driving my desire to bring better opportunities to those who are currently fleeing their homes. I want to give the same chance that I got at a building a better life.

While the refugee crisis was escalating in Europe I was heavily involved in the refugee support groups in Malmö, Sweden. Working with refugees arriving from many arabic speaking countries, as a coordinator, translator and general support.

Being involved with this work motivated me to do even more and eventually in 2018 I joined the volunteer team at Crossing Lines to work with their project in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, which is currently housing 300.000 Syrian refugees in scattered shanty-town settlements.

During my first trip in April 2018 I went as a photographer with the mission of documenting the work and helping with the projects of Crossing Lines, but I ended up doing so much more. As a native arabic speaker and former refugee myself, I discovered that I could connect with all these youth in a very unique way which opened up new ways of working with the young people and families in these settlements.

I flew down there with some expectations of what I was going to experience. As the month ended I realized that my expectations were nothing compared to what I had achieved in the end. Not just with the work that was done but also on a personal level.
I had found my calling, a place where I could actually make a change and give back to the the people who are living the life I once was.

In August of 2018, Crossing Lines will be continuing to build on their successes in social development and refugee support in the Bekaa Valley So I am here asking you for help so I can make it back and keep volunteering for two months.