29 April 2010
UNRWA students from schools in north Lebanon took part in a Run for Peace on 18 April, in coordination with the Italian Union of Sport for All.
Three medal-winning children from Beddawi refugee camp talk about what competing in the race meant to them.
Yusuf Tarabieh, 14, came in third. “I was very glad. In 2007, just two days before the crisis [at Nahr el-Bared camp], I ran 4km in the Olympic stadium at Tripoli. But in this marathon I ran 3km and got the bronze medal.
"I will take part in another marathon in May at the Olympic stadium. I’m hoping for the gold medal."
He loves running but his favorite game is football and he hopes to be a famous player like Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
"I wish to run in Nahr el-Bared camp next year after it is reconstructed. I invite all students in Lebanon to run to speed the reconstruction of the camp.”
Omar Omerin, 12, won a gold medal. “This is my second try. I ran in the Beirut marathon in the 2km competition. I was very happy and here I ran hoping to get the gold medal.
"I will keep my medal with my father’s important papers. It means so much to me.
"It’s beautiful to see the huge number of students running. It gives me an amazing feeling. I was very glad to watch my colleagues running with a smile on their faces.
"I would like to become a runner," he said, "but I would prefer to be a football player and shake the net of the opponents."
Nariman Al-Chouli, 13, received a silver medal. "I love sport and have always dreamt of running in such a race. I was very zealous about it, and very sure will get either the golden or silver medal. I am very happy about winning. We were supported by the school administration who gave us tips about how to run in a marathon.
"I'll be very glad to repeat this experience. I dream of being a famous runner in the future and everyone watching me on the TV.
"What a great feeling it is to be a winner, there is nothing better than this. I was very pleased and proud carrying my medal to my house to keep it as a souvenir of winning.
"I suffer from asthma, but running in the marathon helps opening my lungs. Sport is very advantageous, I advise all my colleagues to take part next time.”
By Maysoun Mustafa
Camp information officer, Beddawi Camp