Syrian Refugees Flood Lebanon: ‘We Have Nothing’

syrian refugees in lebanon 3With no safe haven, more than 1,200 Syrian refugees pour into Lebanon daily.

Most of them are mothers and children with no idea where they will live. Because Lebanon does not have any refugee camps, the government is concerned that could create a long-term crisis.

One family of 20 from Homs had waited all day to cross at the Syrian-Lebanon border.

One woman said they would stay in Lebanon as long as the situation was bad in Syria.

“We have nothing. We will live with what we can,” she said. “I think we will build a tent and live there.”

The parents’ only worry: keeping their children safe no matter where they ended up.

In Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, families lived anywhere they could.

Aid workers from Save the Children told ABC News about refugees living in an abandoned prison.

At the former jail, a woman who spoke English told ABC News that five people lived in one cell.

“Very cold!” she said.

She said that she’d been an English teacher in Damascus; her husband, a banker. Their beautiful home was destroyed in Syria and now she lives in a small cell.

The former prison is now home to more than 60 children. There are bars on the windows and bare cement floors — stark reminders that they are no longer home.

Hamid, 10, saw his neighborhood bombed by President Bashar Assad’s forces. Dead bodies littered the streets.

“I want to see my dad,” he told ABC News.

Another little girl noded when asked whether she missed her father as well.

It has been months since these children have seen their dads.

More than half of the refugees in this crisis are children, according to the United Nations. Many of them have been out of school for nearly two years.

Programs like Save the Children have stepped in to fill some of the need. Save the Children told ABC News that $20 could purchase an entire student kit including pencils, paper and a backpack — everything they need for a school that the organization has set up nearby.

“We are teaching them the basics so they don’t fall behind,” one teacher said.

Funding is limited and only 550 children are able to receive services here. Thousands still wait.

A little more than that could buy a child clothes and shoes.

When night falls, the families struggle to stay warm in the dark. It is so cold that families have to cook inside their tents.

Two days ago, 17 of the tents burned to the ground. The families lost everything: clothes, food, blankets, pictures, all of their documents.

“Yes, everything,” one man said. “I can’t even provide for my children. … I can’t even buy them a toy if I want. I have nothing to offer them.”

The nights are long and with limited electricity, the families must turn in early. Many of the children are sick. They cough as they go to bed. In the morning, the coughing only gets worse.

Many suffer from respiratory infections and are struggling because of the smoke from the stoves, their thin clothing and sandals despite the freezing temperatures.

There is a real need for more food and fuel for cooking andwarmer clothing including shoes.

Everyone told ABC News that they missed their homes, their families and their ways of life. They are without money and cannot afford phones.

In the former prison, ABC News lent the mothers cell phones so they could call their families in Syria. It had been months since they’d spoken with their relatives.

The sound of “Hello” over the phone line and the smiles that followed said everything.

ABC

  • 5thDrawer

    Not much ‘help’ for Lebanese either.
    Small ‘personal experience’ story.

    Two friends who own apartments but cannot find work decided last Fall that they are now ‘property-rich, but cash-poor’ and live on the edge of starvation. They decided they could live together (a group of 5 now – elderly mothers included) and put one apartment up for sale. A ‘viable’ economic move, one would think – hoping for the money from a sale to last until work can be found. Sharing all – nice.
    So … and not commenting on wisdom in desperate times …..
    Another ‘friend’ finds a potential buyer in November. A Syrian man who escaped with his family of 6. He likes it .. and will buy it. BUT … he needs to get his money from a Syrian bank.
    Sad story … refugees … yack yack …. they agree he can rent it for the month for only 300$ and wait for the money to ‘come’ from Syria.
    Being Lebanese they cannot get ‘aid’ money for heat or food or clothes – or even Kotex – although the ‘registered’ Syrian can, it seems.
    You and I might consider 300-a-week being ‘normal’ …. 4 months at 300$ each month has passed.
    (I hesitate to ask if next 3 were paid)
    One assumes the Syrian is doing ok … the Lebanese are having a hard cold winter … might even lose the other property for non-payment of bills.
    They are certainly still on the edge of starvation. Friends can only donate so much.
    The ‘way’ it is …..
    Where indeed has the ‘war-zone’ spread to??

  • 5thDrawer

    Not much ‘help’ for Lebanese either.
    Small ‘personal experience’ story.

    Two friends who own apartments but cannot find work decided last Fall that they are now ‘property-rich, but cash-poor’ and live on the edge of starvation. They decided they could live together (a group of 5 now – elderly mothers included) and put one apartment up for sale. A ‘viable’ economic move, one would think – hoping for the money from a sale to last until work can be found. Sharing all – nice.
    So … and not commenting on wisdom in desperate times …..
    Another ‘friend’ finds a potential buyer in November. A Syrian man who escaped with his family of 6. He likes it .. and will buy it. BUT … he needs to get his money from a Syrian bank.
    Sad story … refugees … yack yack …. they agree he can rent it for the month for only 300$ and wait for the money to ‘come’ from Syria.
    Being Lebanese they cannot get ‘aid’ money for heat or food or clothes – or even Kotex – although the ‘registered’ Syrian can, it seems.
    You and I might consider 300-a-week being ‘normal’ …. 4 months at 300$ each month has passed.
    (I hesitate to ask if next 3 were paid)
    One assumes the Syrian is doing ok … the Lebanese are having a hard cold winter … might even lose the other property for non-payment of bills.
    They are certainly still on the edge of starvation. Friends can only donate so much.
    The ‘way’ it is …..
    Where indeed has the ‘war-zone’ spread to??

  • 5thDrawer

    Not much ‘help’ for Lebanese either.
    Small ‘personal experience’ story.

    Two friends who own apartments but cannot find work decided last Fall that they are now ‘property-rich, but cash-poor’ and live on the edge of starvation. They decided they could live together (a group of 5 now – elderly mothers included) and put one apartment up for sale. A ‘viable’ economic move, one would think – hoping for the money from a sale to last until work can be found. Sharing all – nice.
    So … and not commenting on wisdom in desperate times …..
    Another ‘friend’ finds a potential buyer in November. A Syrian man who escaped with his family of 6. He likes it .. and will buy it. BUT … he needs to get his money from a Syrian bank.
    Sad story … refugees … yack yack …. they agree he can rent it for the month for only 300$ and wait for the money to ‘come’ from Syria.
    Being Lebanese they cannot get ‘aid’ money for heat or food or clothes – or even Kotex – although the ‘registered’ Syrian can, it seems.
    You and I might consider 300-a-week being ‘normal’ …. 4 months at 300$ each month has passed.
    (I hesitate to ask if next 3 were paid)
    One assumes the Syrian is doing ok … the Lebanese are having a hard cold winter … might even lose the other property for non-payment of bills.
    They are certainly still on the edge of starvation. Friends can only donate so much.
    The ‘way’ it is …..
    Where indeed has the ‘war-zone’ spread to??

  • Constantin7

    What a tragedy for those innocent women and children ! Damn Bashar and his power hunger that is causing all this suffering ! He tried his methods in Lebanon and with his last attempt (killing Hariri) he underestimated the power of the people and the media and the international reaction, so he indirectly kicked himself out of Lebanon. But now in Syria he is doing anything he likes, just to keep his position….It is the cries of those women and chirldren that are going to haunt this tyrant sooner or later…

    • 2160John

      Hariri was killed by a precision guided 1-2 ton missile from a Heron drone.

      • 5thDrawer

        Wow. In 2005 there were drones that could carry a ton, you say?? – on top of all the other electronics required to keep them flying and acquiring targets?? Those Israelis are SO incredibly advanced, right?? The USA only has a Predator (2007) which carries Stinger Missiles, which only weigh 100-lbs. each, so you are saying it carried 20 of those to Beirut, tracked Hariri and dropped them all on his head at once. Interesting ……
        Wait … Yah, yah … I remember something about this Israeli super-drone …. The Beatles sang a song about it in fact … the chorus begins with the line ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ …. that band was just SO ahead of their time.
        And yes, yes .. the Beatles DID play in Germany for a time … wow .. imagine the connections!

        Interesting Factoid: By 2013, over 50 countries are using drones – many made in the user countries.

    • AntiFSA01

      Damn Basher you say, Damn you more like it. Just for once Mr ignorance, curse the FSA terrorist for all the havoc they have caused like the suicide attacks on civilian areas. Or is this OK with you ? Are you that naive to believe that the Government is responsible for all the chaos in Syria. Why should Basher step down, because ignorant people like you who live in the past say so. It would be like if a stranger came to your house, beat you and your family and tried to force you to leave, you would just pack up and go. Is that rite. Stop spinning your BS and get your head out of the sand

      • 5thDrawer

        So you agree that Assads own the whole place and that’s ok. Forever. And we should ignore 2 years ago completely when his ‘slaves’ dared to ask for ‘more’.

        • hariri assaoudi

          may i return the ball to your camp? so you agree that the hariris own the place!

    • AntiFSA01

      Furthermore Constantin, for you to think that Assad killed Hariri only shows how deep your head really is. You seem to forget that Hariri was one of Assad’s staunch allies. Why would he have him killed ?

  • Constantin7

    What a tragedy for those innocent women and children ! Damn Bashar and his power hunger that is causing all this suffering ! He tried his methods in Lebanon and with his last attempt (killing Hariri) he underestimated the power of the people and the media and the international reaction, so he indirectly kicked himself out of Lebanon. But now in Syria he is doing anything he likes, just to keep his position….It is the cries of those women and chirldren that are going to haunt this tyrant sooner or later…

    • 2160John

      Hariri was killed by a precision guided 1-2 ton missile from a Heron drone.

      • 5thDrawer

        Wow. In 2005 there were drones that could carry a ton, you say?? – on top of all the other electronics required to keep them flying and acquiring targets?? Those Israelis are SO incredibly advanced, right?? The USA only has a Predator (2007) which carries Stinger Missiles, which only weigh 100-lbs. each, so you are saying it carried 20 of those to Beirut, tracked Hariri and dropped them all on his head at once. Interesting ……
        Wait … Yah, yah … I remember something about this Israeli super-drone …. The Beatles sang a song about it in fact … the chorus begins with the line ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ …. that band was just SO ahead of their time.

        Interesting Factoid: By 2013, 50 countries are using drones – many made in the user countries.

    • AntiFSA01

      Damn Basher you say, Damn you more like it. Just for once Mr ignorance, curse the FSA terrorist for all the havoc they have caused like the suicide attacks on civilian areas. Or is this OK with you ? Are you that naive to believe that the Government is responsible for all the chaos in Syria. Why should Basher step down, because ignorant people like you who live in the past say so. It would be like if a stranger came to your house, beat you and your family and tried to force you to leave, you would just pack up and go. Is that rite. Stop spinning your BS and get your head out of the sand

      • 5thDrawer

        So you agree that Assads own the whole place and that’s ok. Forever. And we should ignore 2 years ago completely when his ‘slaves’ dared to ask for ‘more’.

    • AntiFSA01

      Furthermore Constantin, for you to think that Assad killed Hariri only shows how deep your head really is. You seem to forget that Hariri was one of Assad’s staunch allies. Why would he have him killed ?

  • Constantin7

    What a tragedy for those innocent women and children ! Damn Bashar and his power hunger that is causing all this suffering ! He tried his methods in Lebanon and with his last attempt (killing Hariri) he underestimated the power of the people and the media and the international reaction, so he indirectly kicked himself out of Lebanon. But now in Syria he is doing anything he likes, just to keep his position….It is the cries of those women and chirldren that are going to haunt this tyrant sooner or later…

    • 2160John

      Hariri was killed by a precision guided 1-2 ton missile from a Heron drone.

      • 5thDrawer

        Wow. In 2005 there were drones that could carry a ton, you say?? – on top of all the other electronics required to keep them flying and acquiring targets?? Those Israelis are SO incredibly advanced, right?? The USA only has a Predator (2007) which carries Stinger Missiles, which only weigh 100-lbs. each, so you are saying it carried 20 of those to Beirut, tracked Hariri and dropped them all on his head at once. Interesting ……
        Wait … Yah, yah … I remember something about this Israeli super-drone …. The Beatles sang a song about it in fact … the chorus begins with the line ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ …. that band was just SO ahead of their time.

        Interesting Factoid: By 2013, 50 countries are using drones – many made in the user countries.

    • AntiFSA01

      Damn Basher you say, Damn you more like it. Just for once Mr ignorance, curse the FSA terrorist for all the havoc they have caused like the suicide attacks on civilian areas. Or is this OK with you ? Are you that naive to believe that the Government is responsible for all the chaos in Syria. Why should Basher step down, because ignorant people like you who live in the past say so. It would be like if a stranger came to your house, beat you and your family and tried to force you to leave, you would just pack up and go. Is that rite. Stop spinning your BS and get your head out of the sand

      • 5thDrawer

        So you agree that Assads own the whole place and that’s ok. Forever. And we should ignore 2 years ago completely when his ‘slaves’ dared to ask for ‘more’.

        • hariri assaoudi

          may i return the ball to your camp? so you agree that the hariris own the place!

    • AntiFSA01

      Furthermore Constantin, for you to think that Assad killed Hariri only shows how deep your head really is. You seem to forget that Hariri was one of Assad’s staunch allies. Why would he have him killed ?

  • aleesara

    I know the Syrian people are having a hard time, however many Lebanese people are poverty stricken themselves and they are doing their best to help.
    The International community should do more to help the refugees.

  • aleesara

    I know the Syrian people are having a hard time, however many Lebanese people are poverty stricken themselves and they are doing their best to help.
    The International community should do more to help the refugees.

  • aleesara

    I know the Syrian people are having a hard time, however many Lebanese people are poverty stricken themselves and they are doing their best to help.
    The International community should do more to help the refugees.

  • 2160John

    Send them to their homeland Saudi Arabia, its a big flat desert with lots of space.

  • 2160John

    Send them to their homeland Saudi Arabia, its a big flat desert with lots of space.

  • 2160John

    Send them to their homeland Saudi Arabia, its a big flat desert with lots of space.