Imad, born and raised in a Palestinian refugee camp, will grow up one day to find himself in a country where he’s banned by the law from working in most professions, no matter how well he does in his academic life.
After he’s done with his online classes, Imad doesn’t run off to play soccer with the rest of the boys his age. Instead, he heads to work at the car mechanic’s shop.
Imad is a nine-year-old Palestinian boy who lives with his mother and younger brother in the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp, in South Lebanon.
“I wake up very early every day, do my homework, submit it to my teacher, then head to my shift at work at 11:00 a.m. Sometimes, while I’m cleaning the shop, I see other kids playing soccer in the neighborhood… Still, I’m happy to be helping out my family with the little money I make,” he says.
Poverty was not the only reason for Imad to go to work. His mother believes it is important that he learns a profession from a young age. She knows that no matter how many degrees he might get, he would eventually have to do some freelance or unregistered kind of work, since racist and unjust laws govern Palestinians’ lives in Lebanon and deny them the right of employment.
Imad says, “My dream is to become a skilled painter or to learn how to play on a musical instrument. These are the kinds of things that I would love to do.”
The subjects of the stories published on the StoryLeb platform were chosen by the young journalists and media creators who participated in the first training session of the project.
This project benefitted from the financial assistance of the European Commission within the framework of the project Shabab Live, a joint project of Deutsche Welle Akademie, Arab Resource Center for popular Arts and Al Khatt. The content of this video is the sole responsibility of StoryLeb and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Commission or the project partners.