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Saada al-Jomaa's tears flow down her cheeks whenever she is asked to remember. At 102 years of age, she is one of the oldest Syrian refugees displaced by the war into Lebanon – from a century in her village in Raqqa to spending her twilight years in a feeble, plaster tent where her family sometimes has to burn shoes to shield her from the biting cold of the Bekaa Valley. The family of 13 drove to Lebanon, before the violence had engulfed more of the country and severed the roads.There are now more than a million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Earlier this year, UNHCR identified 12 centenarians among Syria's oldest refugees, many of them residing in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, home to the bulk of displaced people from the conflict across the border. The stories of these oldest refugees are a testament to the fragility of the lives of many who fled the conflict in Syria, and the radical shift in fortunes from century-old homes to bare plaster tents in crowded settlements with little shelter or food in the area's harsh winter.
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