MIDDLE EAST

Shameful treatment of refugees in Lebanon

The humiliating and brutal treatment meted out to the displaced persons, refugees and Syrian migrants – whatever one may call them – at the hands of the Lebanese authorities calls for a legal intervention on the issue.

As a matter of fact, successive Lebanese governments have completely ignored the benefits their country derives from the presence of the Syrians. The most important accounts and deposits in Lebanese banks are primarily from the Syrian businessmen and traders. The most valuable real estates in Lebanon are owned by the Syrian dignitaries.

With the Syrian citizens settling in Lebanon after escaping the oppression of the Assad regime and the pursuit of Lebanese terrorist Hezbollah inside their own country, their contributions to the host country’s economy have grown exponentially.

The huge presence by the Syrians provides the Lebanese merchants significant opportunities to reap rich dividends due to the increase in sales and profits, especially in furniture and real estate markets, which is invaluable for Lebanon.

Indeed, it is true, as the old proverb says, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” In the Lebanese case, the benefits are enormous and the profits are huge, despite all this, the Syrians in Lebanon continue to be mistreated systematically.

The huge presence by the Syrians provides the Lebanese merchants significant opportunities to reap rich dividends due to the increase in sales and profits, especially in furniture and real estate markets, which is invaluable for Lebanon

Hussein Shobokshi

Racist campaign

Apart from this, the Lebanese municipalities have launched a vicious racist campaign through leaflets and signboards hanging on public streets, warning people against selling and buying from the Syrians and dealing with them.

They have even set the dates for the Syrians for roaming in the country. The kind of treatment being meted out to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon is in fact more racist than the Israeli occupation forces and the apartheid regime of South Africa.

Despite all these accusations and the official remarks made by the Lebanese government against the Syrians coupled with the repressive and brutal practices against them, no one dares to raise fingers at the terrorist organization named Hezbollah, which is publicly accused of assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The killers are protected and not prevented from money laundering, planting cannabis, doing drug trade, smuggling arms and weapons across the borders of a neighboring country to support a brutal regime in a war against its people.

Worthless political race

It is very shameful for a country that claims to be the symbol of civility and graciousness in the Middle East that its officials do what they have done to such dear people and to their dignity in order to score cheap brownie points in a worthless political race.

The benefit to the Lebanese from the Syrian crisis is double than the damage it causes, that is, even a beginner in the world of economics and the market knows this. But what is being done against the Syrians is a sign of moral turpitude and the horrific exploitation of the circumstances that the Lebanese government has provided the Hezbollah to “aggravate” the situation and inflame it.

The least that can be said to the Lebanese government because of the actions of some officials against the Syrians is: Shame on you!

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on July 17.
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(Hussein Shobokshi is a Businessman and prominent columnist. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al Takreer on Al Arabiya, and in 1995, he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his B.A. in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa. His twitter handle is @husseinshoboksh.

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Last Update: Monday, 17 July 2017 KSA 10:21 - GMT 07:21
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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