I vividly recall my conversations with refugees when the Syria conflict was just one year old. There were still fewer than a million people who had fled for safety to neighboring countries, I made my first visit to Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, where thousands were still trying to maintain a semblance of normality in threadbare campsites.
Many were visibly traumatized. Smiles of welcome quickly faded to frowns of troubled reflection. Eyes turned wet when the conversation deepened. The violence had taken away their homes, and killed or maimed their friends and family. But most were confident that the war would end soon, and that their life in a tent was only temporary.