This is the first in a series of poetic responses to photographs taken by Refugee Hosts PI Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh during a field-trip to Baddawi refugee camp and the neighbourhood of Jebel al-Baddawi in North Lebanon, and to a range of neighbourhoods in Beirut in March-April 2018. Written by Refugee Hosts Writer-in-Residence Yousif M. Qasmiyeh and/or PI Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, they reflect on everyday encounters in and dynamics of displacement.

By Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Refugee Hosts PI and UCL

Original graffiti:

“To every despicable Syrian, leave!”

Altered graffiti:

“To every despicable racist, leave!” (L)

“To every despicable (person), leave” (R)


Official eyes spot my lens

Erase my snaps

Of donation boxes

Attached to lampposts.


Yet the words were sprayed

Upon the walls

Neighbouring the sacred military post,

Under their permitting eyes.


Photograph: Graffiti on the facade of a building in Beirut © Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, April 2018.

Read more creative responses to our research in our Creative Archive


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s