News / Middle East

Syrian Refugees Struggle on Lebanese Border

Syrian Refugees Struggle on Lebanese Borderi
|| 0:00:00
X
Al Pessin
July 23, 2012 7:13 PM
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. VOA's Al Pessin visited the Wadi Khaled valley, where the refugees live in spartan conditions and rely on handouts from aid agencies to survive.

Syrian Refugees Struggle on Lebanese Border

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid