A continuation to lebanon vs syria is needed today. Of course, going online and checking news and blogs from around the world, we see the desolation that has taken place in Syria and the idea of a life in which refugees are thriving daily, especially come winter times.
Hundreds of articles have been written for this cause, these articles being written by arab countries, like AlArabiya where an awful picture of a poor child freezing in one of the camps was taken, and where many others lost their lives, where we also read of U.N Chief Ban Ki-moon making an appeal to help these refugees hiding out on Lebanese soil.
In another article, written by the Washington post, we read of the conditions of life most refugees have on Lebanese soil, we also read of interviews and hear the worry between the lines where some of these refugees might be giving up trying to survive.
Even a video was made by celebrities to help donate money to those refugees in need, and I think (wishfully) that it has helped indeed.
But some things are being forgotten, most people commenting on these articles are not Lebanese, Syrian or Palestinian; and their comments are sometimes wrong and judgmental. I read of those that blame the Lebanese society for not providing for these less fortunate refugees, blaming them for ignoring them, and for closing their eyes to their misery.
But one thing that most Americans, Europeans, or whatever country they are from, forget, or shut their own eyes to, is that the misery extends to Lebanese people living in Lebanon as well. Whoever you are and whatever you think, you have no right to judge citizens that are going through hell in the first place; especially when you don’t have facts about what is happening, or haven’t lived it.
So here are a couple of eye openers for judgers: I’m afraid to walk near my house at night, I live in a relatively secure neighborhood, where as of late refugees have been camping out, I’ve seen random Lebanese men and women being beaten by refugees for 1 000LL (0.75 $); and worst part being when calling the cops to help him/her out, all they would say is, we can’t come, we’re trying to save these other guys in these areas. I’ve had friends’ cars stolen by refugees to later be sent to Syria, as an exchange for their homes not being destroyed or their families being able to cross the border illegally.
Now I understand the car stealing, but only when it happens on the street, with its owner being away; even my mum’s car was stolen a couple of months back, making it hard for us to get by, yet being lucky enough to suffice ourselves. But what about those poor souls driving late at night after a long day at work, trying to get home, getting pulled out of their car and beaten, having a gun shoved at their heads and having their hard work earnings being stolen from them.
Of course not all refugees are that way, and not all would go the extra mile of robbing hard workers of their due just because they need it. Unfortunately how do you know which is what. How can you be sure that this old man you’re sending your clothes to, spending money on when you can barely keep your household going and your children warm, isn’t the one that robbed you from your monthly pay a couple of days ago? We still, as Lebanese, try to do the right thing, we rally up to send extra clothes, food, and blankets to those in need; because after all, we had a civil war for many years, we know what it’s like and we feel a need to help those in need because we didn’t get that help sometimes, and wished we did. But we stay cautious, we keep our distance, and sometimes we close our eyes to what is happening because who knows when and if we will be the ones that need this help at some point in time.
Checking the news we hear of bombs being shot towards Lebanese soil, we hear of Israel building up defenses, we read of politicians enticing their “crowds” to go up against each other, and of course us being so “open-minded” ending up following them like sheep. We have the instability of a schizophrenic country.
So I ask those judging the Lebanese for their somewhat lack of helping refugees, how exactly would you act if you were us?