This brief details the history of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon from 2011 to present. As economic and security conditions in Lebanon have fluctuated and weakened over the course of Syria's war, public ire and distrust in Lebanon has turned towards the over 1 million Syrian refugees who have settled there, who many Lebanese view as responsible for Lebanon's economic and political woes. This brief breaks down why the presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has become so politicized in both public discourse and the rhetoric of political pundits, arguing that refugees have become a scapegoat to deflect away from more severe structural issues such as sectarianism and poor governance.
Where is "home" for the permanently displaced? Haid N Haid, Syrian Columnists and Chatham House Fellow, presents the findings of his study on how (and where) citizens of Daraya see their future in light of the mounting pressure Syrian refugees are facing to return home with no clear plans to ensure the security or protection of returnees or any guarantees to ensure their right to return to their own properties.
When ISIS announced the establishment of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ it fuelled discussions as to whether this would herald the ‘end of Sykes-Picot’ – borders artificially drawn by the colonial powers at the beginning of the twentieth century. But borders are more than ‘lines in the sand’: they divide. While the privileged few may cross legitimately by simply presenting their passport, for most, these borders present difficult if not insurmountable hurdles. People fleeing from war, climate change or economic hardship, attempt to cross the Mediterranean but many drown trying.