Lebanon’s new export: Syrian refugees


SYRIAN REFUGEESAccording to   a recent report by An-Nahar newspaper Lebanon is now   exporting  Syrian refugees to foreign countries via Turkey.

A day before the report was published, European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn said: “The next big wave of illegal refugees towards Europe may be from Lebanon,”

He described  Lebanon as the weak country that is witnessing a tragic situation and said that developments in Lebanon worry him greatly since it  is a country of 4 million people while it  hosts about 1.5 million refugees most of whom live under  tough  conditions.

This will not be Lebanon’s first  or last time in exporting people, according to MP Nayla Tueni, grand daughter of An Nahar daily  founder the late Ghassan Tueni

“Before the Syrian crisis, Lebanon exported many of its young men due to bad living conditions, or because their freedoms were restrained due to the Israeli and Syrian occupations. Before that, the Ottoman occupation contributed to the emigration of  hundreds of thousands of Lebanese due to hunger, oppression and forced labor. Many drowned in the sea before reaching their  desired destination”. Tueni wrote in an article in Al Arabiya .

This  is why there are many more Lebanese outside lebanon than in Lebanon. According to media reports  there are more than 12 million Lebanese living allover the world .

“Our problem with the Syrians resembles our problem with the Palestinians who came to Lebanon more than 60 years ago. Like the  Palestinians they impose a reality we cannot evade, a reality that pressures security, the economy, general services and infrastructure.” She said.