BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon – In late June, while global media outlets were inundated with reports of attacks on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, little attention was paid to the near-simultaneous blowing-up of eight suicide attackers in the Bekaa Valley that claimed five lives and injured 30 others.
The story itself faded away quickly from news headlines, but the episode revived sectarian hostilities toward Syrian refugees in Lebanon, especially the tens of thousands living in makeshift camps close to the Christian village of Qaa, where the attacks took place.
Amid mass arrests, arbitrary raids and “vigilante-style attacks” on Syrians, Sabine Choucair and her troupe of actors – Syrian men, women and children from the Bekaa Valley – continued to cross the length of the country to perform their own narratives of displacement. The Caravan Project continued, unhindered.
Despite the curfews imposed in the aftermath of the bombings, Lebanese and Syrian audiences attended their street theater performances in sizable numbers.
Since our conversation with Choucair at the start of the 32-day long tour, we have put together an interactive presentation that contains a range of stories narrated in the voices of the Syrian actors of the mobile theater troupe. Some of these tales have been constructed from their real-life experiences of displacement while others were imagined, based on their experiences of conflict.