Understanding racism against Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Publishing Date:
October 28, 2013
Dossier: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

by: Mohamad Ali-Nayel, Bassem Chit

A Syrian refugee, when asked how Lebanon was treating him, lamented and said:

“How is it treating me? It isn’t treating me, it treats my money. Because of the nature of my job (veterinarian) I’m dealing with middle upper class Lebanese who only make their judgments based on money. They see that I’m here spending, and they see that I too come from the middle classes so they don’t show as much bigotry as it is normally the sentiment against us (Syrians) in Lebanon”.

The end of Lebanon’s civil war was marked by a more direct hegemonic role of the Syrian regime over the country’s political and economic spheres, with a high level of complicity from the Lebanese rulers with the Syrian regime. This status quo allowed the Syrian regime, on one hand, to escape the economic stagnation the country faced1, through the open borders policy, allowing scores of Syrian workers to come to Lebanon in search of jobs. On the other hand, it gave the Lebanese ruling class and its contractors access to cheap labor, without providing them with any rights, in the large reconstruction projects that were initiated by the government in the early 1990’s, after 15 years of civil war. Keep reading:http://cskc.daleel-madani.org/paper/understanding-racism-against-syrian-refugees-lebanon

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