News / Middle East

Syrian Refugees Seek Help in Lebanon

Syrian Refugees Seek Help in Lebanoni
|| 0:00:00
X
Scott Bobb
June 12, 2012 11:12 PM
The conflict in Syria continues to displace thousands of people each week. As many as 100,000 have fled to neighboring countries. About 25,000 of that number are in Lebanon, where local residents struggle to help them survive. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
Scott Bobb
SAADNAYEL, BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon - The conflict in Syria continues to displace thousands of people each week.  As many as 100,000 have fled to neighboring countries.  About 25,000 of that number are in Lebanon, where local residents struggle to help them survive.  

Saadnayel, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, has a population of about 30,000 people. The small town is hosting more than 5,000 refugees from Syria's violence, now entering its 15th month.

Ziad al-Ali arrived two weeks ago. He covers his face because he fears for the safety of relatives back home. He says the Syrian army shelled his neighborhood in the central city of Homs. He came here because he heard there was help.

"They are giving us aid, rice, grain, lettuce, cooking oil, butter, toothpaste, some things for the home, bedding,” al-Ali said.

Mayor Khalil al-Chehimi says local residents initially provided most of the supplies and even money to the refugees. Since donor aid began arriving, his office is helping to assess needs and distribute aid.

“We are helping the United Nations to get to those people," he said. "So we are the connection to be close and make them [donors] understand what they [refugees] want, find a place to live and deliver the food or whatever they supply.”

A few kilometers away, 33-year-old Mariam, not her real name, lives with her four children and several other families in a shack provided by a local resident.  She says she fled Homs after gunmen killed her three brothers and several others.

“They raided all the houses. They took them [my brothers] out of the house with my cousins, neighbors, old men, children," she said. "They put them into a fruit truck and blew it up.”

Wissam Tarif is the local head of Avaaz, a human rights group that works with the refugees. He says Syrian forces have destroyed entire neighborhoods in opposition areas. The Syrian government says these attacks are by terrorists.

“We think there has been a pattern of taking people out of their places, out of their cities," Tarif said. "It's not a mistake. It's a state policy.”

Tarif says more than one million people have been displaced inside Syria, where there is little humanitarian aid.

Most Syrian refugees say they want to return home but will only do so if there is a change of government.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid