"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

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Monday, August 08, 2016

Lebanon reels under weight of Syrian refugee crisis- Al-Monitor


On June 27, a series of suicide bombings rocked the eastern border town of al-Qaa in the Bekaa Valley. For the Lebanese people, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as the attacks reopened the debate over the issue of displaced Syrians in Lebanese territory.


Many Lebanese suspected that the suicide bombers came from the Syrian refugee camps known as Masharih al-Qaa (Qaa Projects) neighboring al-Qaa town and that these camps harbor terrorist groups. Several security and official sources confirmed these suspicions.
This stirred a wave of panic. Various stances were taken on social media by Lebanese citizens, who expressed racist feelings against the Syrian refugees, including calls to expel from Lebanon all displaced people.
Two days after the al-Qaa attacks, Lebanese authorities rushed to impose special measures on the displaced. A night curfew was imposed on Syrian refugees, and the Lebanese army announced the arrest of more than 412 Syrians on various charges.
The Cabinet held an extraordinary session June 28, but no conclusive results were reached. However, the issue of displaced Syrians was brought back to the government's table several times, based on the need for a radical solution and a comprehensive approach.