‘Unforgettable,’ says Drauzio Varella on Lebanon and Jordan

The Brazilian physician told ANBA about his impressions of the first two Arab countries he’s ever been to. He took a trip to shoot a documentary on Doctors Without Borders.

Thais Sousa

São Paulo – Brazilian physician Drauzio Varella told ANBA about his impressions of his first trip ever to Arab countries for the making of documentary film Drauzio em campo: Líbano e Jordânia (Drauzio out in the field: Lebanon and Jordan). Check out his testimony:

“Prior to this trip to shoot video of Doctors Without Borders in Lebanon and Jordan, I’d never been to any Arab countries, and it was a big surprise. First off because Arabs have a simpatico relationship with us Brazilians. Many of them have relatives living in Brazil. Immigration to Brazil, especially from Lebanon and Syria, was very strong since the past century. Arab hospitality, you know? That thing where ‘We’re about to serve lunch, and we can fit ten more people at the table.’

‘Arabs have a simpatico relationship with us Brazilians’

What impressed me the most was the diversity, the difficulty in setting the criteria that will lead to peace across that region. We have been to several camps with lots of refugees in Lebanon. We’ve been to Majdal Anjar and Arsal, specifically, and we witnessed the precarious conditions the people are living in

On the other hand, Lebanon, which is home to 4 million-plus people, is welcoming an absurd amount of Syrians. Over a million people! And when you see European countries and the United States, what they are doing to stem the inflow of immigrants, often by resorting to brute force… And you see that Lebanon, over 20% of its population have come from abroad. An outrageous number. And one way or the other, they have been able to shield those people from the war that’s taking place in countryside Syria and in other countries across the region.

‘I’ll remember those scenes […] especially the children’

The experience was very interesting. Doctors Without Borders is doing very important work there. This ability to bring medical attention to the people that need it the most.

It was a great experience. Unforgettable. I guess that even if I live another 20 years, I’ll remember those scenes, those camps that the refugee live in. And especially the children. You get to thinking, ‘What will their future be?’

Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum


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