On a chilly Sunday in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, Lebanese and Syrian children are busily making puppets. Sitting side by side, they draw, cut and refine their creations, hoping the glue is not the only thing that sticks.
Despite a history of tensions between their two countries, these students are learning to respect each other through a program called “Rainbow of Hope.”
The program provides leadership and conflict resolution skills through extracurricular activities.
Nidal Khaled is the director of the program. He says the Syrian army’s former presence in Lebanon is one reason for the tensions, but there are others.
"The Lebanese media is playing a negative role by making Lebanese scared of the Syrian refugees. The media too are also imposing some ideas that the Lebanese are of a higher class. In addition, most of the refugees are really poor, so their lifestyles are different from Lebanese," Khaled said.