(AP) - Syrian refugees in Lebanon have created a series of plays based on what life is like for them in their country.
'The Caravan' tackles gritty topics at a time when Lebanon is struggling to cope with the volume of refugees.
A young man, dressed in a wig, wraps himself in a towel during a street performance on the dusty floor of an open market in Lebanon's Bekaa valley.
He is acting out the story of a Syrian woman who coquettishly complains about having no privacy in a crowded refugee tent.
The audience laughs as she flirts with her husband, but the mood soon changes as an actor starts shouting down the phone to emergency services. He's trying to get a Syrian refugee girl with serious heart condition admitted to hospital. During the play no Lebanese hospital will take her and she dies. The act is designed to highlight bureaucracy in Lebanese hospitals.
These stories are part of a collection that make up The Caravan, a street performance project told, recorded and acted by Syrian refugees in Lebanon. As director Sabine Choucair, explains it's all based on real life stories:
"The Caravan project started this year. We went to the Syrian refugee camps in the Bekaa valley searching for personal stories, stories that happened to the people on the road, in Syria or in Lebanon. We worked with a large number of women, men and children. We chose 20 stories, we recorded the stories and we put them on social media. Then we chose from those stories, personal stories".
The Caravan will tour Lebanon over the next six weeks and is already provoking strong reactions from audiences - some of whom are uncomfortable with the sometimes gritty subject matter.
For every four Lebanese people, there is currently one Syrian registered refugee living in this small neighbouring country of about 4.5 million, awash with informal settlements.
There are 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon, out of 4.8 million worldwide, but tens of thousands more live in the country without registration.
Five years since the war in Syria began, the influx has not stopped and Lebanese and Syrians alike are struggling to deal with the scale of the problem in the absence of a political resolution.
Attitudes in Lebanon have hardened against Syrians, as many Lebanese complain that they are taking their jobs, flooding the market with smuggled goods and raising property prices.
For the actors The Caravan is a chance for them to get closer to their Lebanese hosts as well as communicate what life here is like for them.
"It (the play) is to communicate an idea and to send the story between the Lebanese and the Syrians. And take away all the disagreements between them and become one side so we can return to our land", says Hanan Dergham, the only female actor in the play.
At the age of 10 she fled Homs with her family after her father was imprisoned. Her aunt and cousins died in an airstrike and her sister was badly burned. Despite this, she is determined to stay positive.
"People should forget the past and think about the future. They must forget the past, which is making their hearts dark, and begin to have some light in their lives", Hanan says.
Many shoppers at the market stop to watch the performance. Some are cynical about the project while others find the actors' stories touching.
One Lebanese vendor, who chose not to give his name, said the story of the girl failing to get into a hospital broke his heart. The Caravan was for him a window into how gloomy the future is for the next generation. "We are on the same page," he says.