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Becoming the best of friends in Beirut

Friends pose for a selfie

Elie from Lebanon and Shadi from Syria pose for a selfie in Beirut. © UNHCR/Simon Soueid

Shadi is Syrian and Elie is Lebanese. They met on a Beirut movie set and are now best friends.


Elie is from Lebanon and Shadi is a refugee from Syria. Both are part-time actors and they met on the set of a movie in Beirut.


The two 33-year-olds instantly clicked, bonding over a shared love of food and music. A week after they met, they went beach camping. Today, they are the best of friends.

Shadi left Syria to Lebanon in 2012 with US$15 in his pocket. He spent the first two weeks in Lebanon on the street. He has since come a long way thanks to the new friendships he has made along the way.

Their story is the first of a series highlighting friendships between refugees and their hosts in cities around the world. In coming weeks, check back here for stories from Panama City, Nairobi, Paris, Denver and Kuala Lumpur.

In the lead up to World Refugee Day on 20 June, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is challenging everyone to join together and take a step in solidarity with refugees in their communities. Click here to find out more.

Originally published by UNHCR on 08 June 2019