Syrians still welcome in Lebanon

Syrian refugees from various war-torn areas in southern Syria entering Lebanon. File photo

ARA News

Beirut, Lebanon – Throughout the three-year crisis in Syria, an increasing number of Syrians flee every day to Lebanon despite of the hardships and lack of assistance they face there.

Amid the mounting crisis of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and the violations committed against them across the hosting country, some Lebanese civilians are still dedicated to help those refugees with what little they have.

Um Amer, 50, is a Lebanese woman who helps Syrian families who rent houses in her building in the city of Seida, southern Lebanon.

One of the Syrian families arrived in Lebanon without bringing any belongings. The house they rented was empty so she collected some of her house’s furniture as well as some blankets and gave them to the family.

She also asked the residents of her building to donate for the newly arrived Syrian family. Within a month, the family had gotten all of its household basic needs.

“We are siblings. This is the least I can do for the Syrians who helped me and my family when we fled to Syria in 2006 (during the Lebanese war),” Um Amer said.

Um Amer has later helped another five Syrian refugee families in the same way.

Father of Syrians 

Abu Rashed, 42, is another example of a Lebanese citizen who dedicated himself to help Syrian refugees; that is why he is called “the father of Syrians”.

Abu Rashed, side by side with his family members, provides many services to Syrians such as finding houses for rent, simple furniture and food as well as other needs.

He uses his social network in Beirut to help Syrian refugees in need.

“War conditions show no mercy. We suffered a lot due to war here in Lebanon, and being hesitant to help Syrian refugees would seem immoral as we had a similar experience ourselves,” Abu Rashed told ARA News. “As long as I have something to provide to those refugees, I’ll never count to two.”

Abu Kamil, 56, is no less willing to assist Syrians who escaped their war-torn areas and came to Lebanon looking for a safe haven.

“Even if the (Lebanese) government is unable to provide the Syrians with sufficient help, we, as citizens of this country, should take our humanitarian responsibilities towards them,” Abu Kamil said. “Syrian are not refugees in Lebanon, they are our guests and have the right to be given the help they deserve.”

“Syrians experience a war they did not create. It destroyed their country and displaced them. Why would others punish them?” he said, referring to some incidents when Syrian refugees were beaten and thrown on the street by “some sectarian citizens”.

Since so many Lebanese have decided not to ignore the Syrian crisis, but rather to do their duty towards such a humanitarian catastrophe, that many Syrians are convinced now that “discrimination” practised against them in Lebanon only occurs in individual cases, which should not be generalized to the entire Lebanese population.

“Syrians are welcome in their second country, Lebanon,” Abu Kamil concluded.

According to official reports, approximately one million and a half Syrian refugees are currently based in neighbouring Lebanon.


Reporting by: Hussam al-Zeer

Source: ARA News

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