News / Middle East

    Syrian Refugees Struggle on Lebanese Border

    Al Pessin
    WADI KHALED, Lebanon — Syrian refugees in Lebanon's far northeast corner can hear the war raging across the border, where some of their family members are fighting, and dying, in the revolt against Bashar al-Assad. 
     
    The men are clamoring for a signature on their ration cards. For them, it is the difference between feeding their families tonight, and not. The refugees here support the Syrian revolution, and they have fled the government's shelling of their villages.

    Donated food is their lifeline. Volunteers at a mosque ration it out as each person reaches the door. But it is barely enough.
     
    Batoul Hamadi, a 17-year-old girl, had dreams of becoming an accountant. Now she collects bread for 18 members of her family. "My mother wouldn't allow me to work. But I should look for work to provide for me and my sisters and brothers. I need to work. I'm obliged to bring in money for my family," she said. 
     
    Across northern Lebanon it's easy to see smoke rising from some of the villages the refugees have fled.
     
    The people at this makeshift refugee center are safe from the violence. But the same cannot be said about some of their relatives. Fuda Hussein has lost three of her sons fighting for the Free Syrian Army. "How should I feel? I feel nothing. I lost my house, I lost my sons. I have nothing. I only ask God to make me patient and give me the strength to keep us alive," she said. 

    She lives in a room with several other women and their children. The electricity works only sometimes and dozens share one toilet.
     
    Syria is literally a stone's throw away from some neighborhoods here. The family at this large but very basic house is hosting 27-year-old Khaled Daor, who was a rebel fighter until he lost part of his right hand to an artillery shell explosion. "My country is in bad shape. It is being bombed every day. How can I express it? It's very stressful. Life is very difficult," he said. 
     
    The refugees in Wadi Khaled received Lebanese government medical help for a while, but that has stopped. The valley's economy is at a standstill, with the war all but ending cross-border trade. And the local council has no resources to help, says the regional mukhtar Ali Al-Badawi. "As long as the Assad regime stays in power, we will have no future and our situation will continue to be very bad," he said. 
     
    Some of the Syrian refugees have been in Lebanon for more than a year. And with recent rebel advances and the strong government counteroffensive, it is more difficult than ever to predict when they might be able to go home. 

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    July 25, 2012 4:35 PM
    I think it is great Lebanon and Syria are offering a helping hand, all of which should be billed back to Syria, for Mr Assad to pay for out of his very own pocket.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora