A parliament that extends its own term. A paralysed government. A constitutional council that colluded with an unconstitutional extension. A Vacuum in the presidency for more than a year. A disabled country due to a disabled government. No electricity. No water. No jobs. A garbage crisis. A corrupt system from top to bottom. Traffic crisis. No jobs. Crime on the rise. Over 1 million Syrian refugees in a country of only 4.5 million people. Sectarian division, terrorist cells, armed groups, …. Yet the average Lebanese is not revolting. He keeps following his traditional, religious and sectarian leaders even if he has to starve to death.
I thought after the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon, the people will wake up, throw away those who took him to war, kept him under Syrian occupation ….. Instead, at the first opportunity, they voted those leaders in power. But hey, the Lebanese are proud of being the smartest in the region and defenders of democracy. Eh Ahlen.
Interesting Quote: “One day we will tell our children about the ordeal and death caravan that Syrian and Palestinian jumped upon trying to escape to Europe even though Mecca and the land of Muslims is closer to them. One day we will tell them about the Hijra of Prophet Mohamed and his Companions to the land of Habasha at a time it was ruled by a Christian leader who didn’t oppress his people and immigrants.
The continuous deterioration of the security in Syria as a result of the ongoing crisis has forced thousands of Syrians to flee to Lebanon. According to UNHCR estimates, by December 2015 Lebanon will host 1,846,150 Syrian refugees. In 2014, UNHCR had 1,435,840 Syrian refugee registered with them. Lebanon population is around 4.3 million. By the end of 2015, the Syrian refugees will represent around 43% of Lebanon population. The figures can be higher, many refugees sneak into the country without getting registered by the authorities.
Recently, the Lebanese government has established an inter-ministerial crisis cell, and imposed restrictions at the borders. These measures will not deter Syrians from entering the country. These scary numbers of refugees are putting a burden on Lebanese economy and will play a major role in Lebanon demographics in the future. Add to that, the misery these refugees are living in.
Lebanese had experience with refugees. They know how their generosity and the policy of opening doors to people in need backfired and dragged Lebanon into a civil war. During Arab-Israeli war, Lebanon opened its doors to Palestinian refugees. It is to note that currently, Lebanon is home to 1.5 million Palestinian refugee. Some regional and international powers decided to arm the Palestinians to wage a war against Israel from Lebanon. This decision dragged Lebanon into a civil war. Some might decide to do the same with the Syrian refugees in the future. Looking at what is happening between the two Muslim sects (Sunnite and Shiite) in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, it is inevitable that the Syrian refugees (mostly Sunnite) will be used to fuel a religious war in Lebanon.
Lebanon is in danger of entering a new civil war, it’s the duty of the international community to take charge of Syrian refugees crisis in Lebanon. Its their duty to avoid repeating the Palestinian example. The international community must take charge and issue initiatives to either end the Syrian civil war or accept these refugees in their countries. Lebanon, in its current political and economic crisis, can’t handle this amount of refugees.
By the end of 2015, the number of all refugees in Lebanon will be more than 50% of Lebanon population. A major disaster is in the making.
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Wed, 21 May 2014
Author: Magda Mis and Ye Li
Every fifth person in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee – the highest concentration of refugees per capita in the world. An equivalent influx to the UK would be 14 million refugees.
Follow this link to find out about the 5 facts you didn’t know about Syrian refugees.
A good paper written by Sam van Vliet and Guita Hourani. “This paper explores these variations by analyzing, first, differences among host communities and, second, by examining the dissimilarities among geographic settlements. The paper reveals that the conditions of Syrian refugees depend on the geographical areas of their settlement within Lebanon. Host-refugee relations also show a direct relationship to the variant geographical areas and their socio-demographic compositions. This paper concludes that geographical differences are of vital importance to be considered when studying the living conditions of refugees, developing policies, or designing aid programs.
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