This Syrian Teenager Is An Aspiring Designer — & A Refugee

Like many teenagers, Halema Alhasar dreams of what she will do after she finally finishes school. But what distinguishes her from other 17-year-old is that she is a young woman living in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Three years ago, the Syrian teen and her family relocated to Iaat Refugee Camp in Bekaa Valley, running away from the nation's conflict. "In our country, my dreams didn't pan out," she says. "Trouble started there so we moved here." Two years ago, Halema took up sewing and became a seamstress. Her old sewing machine and stencils can be seen in one of the rooms of the tent she shares with her parents and seven siblings. Her first client was her cousin. Now, Halema helps out her family in any way she can. Sadly, the economic restrain has meant she is not going to school. But with a sunny disposition, Halema says she wants to help because she understands her family some days have work and some days doesn’t. “It’s a hard life,” says her mom about their current situation. But she’s also grateful Halema has taken it upon herself to help out. The teeenager says that if she ever goes back to Syria, she would finish school. And after that? “I’d like to be a fashion designer.”

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