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    The childhood and play of young Iraqi and Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon

    El Gemayel, Sandra and Flewitt, Rosie ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1986-0644 (2021) The childhood and play of young Iraqi and Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon. In: AERA Annual Conference 2021: Accepting Educational Responsibility, 08 April 2021 - 12 April 2021, Online.

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    This paper presents unique insights into the childhoods and play of young refugee children living in Beirut’s northern suburbs. The study adopts a ‘Day in The Life’ approach to data collection with four 4-7-year-old Iraqi and Syrian child refugees, supplemented by questionnaires from a wider population (n=100), interviews with professionals and a school observation. Findings point to a maelstrom of continuing rights infringements for refugee children in Lebanon, including low social status, poverty, child labour, poor-quality education and/or no school attendance. Although some ‘lifelines’ are available for refugee families, these fall short of ensuring children’s rights, who are victim to contradictory national and international policies that result in them having limited opportunities and resources to play. Despite many hardships, play endures through media and imagination, offering the refugee children fleeting moments of escape from the trials of their lives.

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