Sponsored by

The Youth of Tripoli

Posted by on August 31, 2017 | Student Photography

Betsy Joles is an American visual journalist and a student at the University of Texas whom we previously recognized for her work documenting Syrian refugees adjusting to their new lives in Turkey. Her latest series, photographed this summer in Tripoli, Lebanon, provides a different view of the northern port city that has been overshadowed by extremism.

“Young people living in Tripoli’s most affected areas have seen the effects firsthand when family members adopted extremist ideologies while neighbors joined radical groups fighting in Syria,” Joles writes. One of her subjects is 17-year-old Salim who explained that participating in normal childhood activities has been “impossible.” Salim told her: “When Daesh [ISIS] came into our neighborhood, our life was finished. It was done. I stopped going to the neighborhood, I stopped going to the streets.”

“Despite challenges that have long plagued their neighborhoods,” Joles writes, “teenagers like Salim fight back through activities like dance that showcase the coherence that’s possible in Tripoli.”

All photos © Betsy Joles