Society 09 March 2015 20 992
The war in Syria forced millions of civilians to flee their homes. Many of them crossed the border into Lebanon. But even though they are out of the war zone, they have to fight for their lives more than ever. They often live in unsafe accommodations, they have limited access to medicine and their children have to be their families’ main breadwinners. Now all they dream of is returning to their homeland.
The crisis in Syria has, to date, claimed the lives of around 300,000 people, and internally displaced 7,600,000 more. In addition, over 4,000,000 refugees have fled the country. Many of these people go to neighboring Lebanon, which has taken over 1,000,000 refugees.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon find no peace in their new country. Living in tents and shelters, humanitarian aid is never enough, and most begin working. This includes young children, who must leave school in order to become bread winners and provide for their families. The money is never enough, however, and the Syrian refugees face poverty, humiliation, and discrimination at every turn.
We first meet a family of 12 who have fled their farm in Syria. Living in a stone cutting factory, the father and several children of various ages work tirelessly in order to buy simple necessities such as bread and water. One young boy, age 8, bemoans the fact that he still can’t read. Child labor in Lebanon is systematic and widespread.
This family is just an example of the situation that the vast majority of Syrian refugees in Lebanon face.
Most Syrians dream of returning to their home country, stating that the Lebanese people heavily discriminate against them, and that it is impossible to have a normal life there. Unfortunately, continuous fighting and bombing make returning a risky endeavor, which is why many families choose to remain in Lebanon in relative safety. 4 out of 5 Syrian children in Lebanon do not attend school, and most of those that don’t must work in order to buy food for their families. Though they dream of becoming doctors and officials, the life that they have found in Lebanon makes that virtually impossible.