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

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurd President Urges World Community to Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid