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When disasters and conflicts collide: Lebanon

TRIPOLI, Lebanon, May 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - For students at Takmiliyat Al Kobba 2nd School in Tripoli in northern Lebanon, getting an education used to mean risking their lives in a hail of bullets.

Pupils would dash down the exposed steps at the school, which was caught on the boundary between two warring sects, hoping to reach safety. But not all made it.

Mekdad Dergham, 8, was killed as he left the school in 2010.

"This child, for his bad luck, he was going back downstairs to go home and unfortunately he didn't arrive. The bullet was faster than him," school director Raghida Abdel El Hamid Chamsin told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, speaking from her office.

"I still remember he was in the third grade. Every year, I would say, 'If he was still alive he would be in fourth grade', next year I would say 'He should be in the fifth grade'."

Now the school is working with the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) to train children on how to stay safe during conflicts and disasters.

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