‘Bury me in Syria, Please promise me you’ll bury me at home.’

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Dagha, 101, pictured outside her family’s shelter in Akkar Province, northern Lebanon, near the Syrian border.

From her family’s little tent on a hill in Lebanon, Dagha, who is 101, used to listen to the shelling from across the border in her native Syria. Sitting quietly and mending clothes, she would try to figure out which part of Syria the shelling was coming from.

But a year ago she suffered a stroke, which left her partially paralysed, and now she just squeezes the hands of visitors and family members who come up to her to give her a kiss.

News arrives every week of more people who’ve died in her home village, including relatives. Her family members try not to tell her the details anymore. But they say she knows. She often cries in her sleep.

‘Her biggest fear is that she’ll die in Lebanon,’ says Fatima, her granddaughter. ‘Before her stroke when she was still able to talk as clearly as a teenager she’d say, ‘Bury me in Syria. Please promise me you’ll bury me at home.’

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