Salim speaking to The Daily Star at his home in a Beirut suburb. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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A black-and-white portrait of a dashing man in uniform hangs above the entrance to the well-kept living room in Burj al-Barajneh where Fadl Mohammad Salim – one of the last surviving Lebanese veterans of World War II – still lives.Orphaned at the age of 7, Salim was then raised in the Palestinian town of Tabaraya.We were seven friends together – four Palestinians and three Lebanese".This initial experience colored his time in the British army – one often marred by discrimination against the Lebanese and Palestinians serving in its ranks. After several years serving with the Lebanese police, Salim eventually settled with his family in Burj al-Barajneh, where his father was from. He reconnected with other WWII veterans of the British army but his relationship with the country he served remained complex.On several occasions, Salim says he asked the British government for medical assistance as well as the chance to obtain British citizenship.
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