Power of Story Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Aleppo Park: A modest victory for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

By       Message Franklin P. Lamb     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 1/24/17

Author 47731
Become a Fan
  (12 fans)
- Advertisement -

Aleppo Park: A modest victory for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Franklin Lamb

Beirut

A small victory for Syrian refugees in Lebanon was achieved this past weekend as the Beirut, USA and French based NGO, Meals for Syrian Refugees Children Lebanon (MSRCL) (http://mealsforsyrianrefugeechildrenlebanon.com ) dedicated Aleppo Park in a vacant lot south of Beirut's Ramlet el Baida beach and above the Mediterranean just under the eyes of friendly Lebanese security forces perched in a recently erected observation tower.

- Advertisement -

Over the past few years, as a total of more than 1.5 million Syria refugees, including three quarters of a million children were forced from war-torn Syria into Lebanon, recreational and family relaxation space has been very hard to come by. But across a wall and cliff from the new Karpinski Resort complex adjacent to the Algerian Embassy in a fine empty recreation area approximately two sq. mile with a great view of the sea and lots of space for children to play and families to picnic and cook outdoors.

For the past few years, Syrians have been using this space only on and off because rich apartment, hotel, and business owners living across the way objected to their 'uncleanly practices' and organized a "not in our backyard!" campaign. This despite the fact that the landowners do not appear to have a problem with their own "uncleanly practices" of funneling their high-rise buildings untreated raw sewage across the road and directly into the sea creating black smelly streams along Ramlet el Baida beach.

Police and others from time to time would block Syrian children and their families from the space with massive concrete blocks, barbed wire and sometimes a unit of armed police to shu away children and their families who were attracted to the open space.

- Advertisement -

Part of the intimidation campaign targeting the refugees kids included checking their parents Lebanese visa documents and arresting them and carting them off to jail as 'illegals," pending their deportation back to war-torn Syria. This while immigration officials ignore international humanitarian laws which prohibit Refoulement which is the forcible return of refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they are liable to be subjected to life threatening conditions.

Perhaps half of the refugees from Syria, who on average exist on less than $ 1 a day, are 'illegal' since they cannot afford to pay another $ 200 every 60 days to Lebanese General Security to buy a refugee visa extension. Some international lawyers argue that the Lebanese fee itself is illegal under humanitarian norms.

The 'cat & mouse' 'on again off again' situation at the newly recognized "Aleppo Park," so named by MSRCL because at any given time more than 90% of the children who come with family members to play and have a cook out, have fled largely destroyed Aleppo. Having lost their schools in Syria, most are no longer receiving formal education.

But there is finally some good news for the Aleppines and other Syrian refugees in Beirut. MSRCL was informed on 1/21/2017 that henceforth Syrians using Aleppo Park can do so without further interference from the government of Lebanon. The telephone call came from the Beirut Municipality Mayor's office to this observer, after months of lobbying his office and some friendly members of Parliament. The decision was presented with a friendly quip: "Consider it a gift to your group on the day of your new presidents' inauguration dear."

So Syrian refugees in Lebanon waiting to return to their beloved but devastated country have another spot to relax at and MSRCL hopes, if it can gain partners, to use the site to feed Syrian refugee children, set up trash cans and just maybe, two or three portable toilets and a water faucet. And why not a garden so the tykes can have their own small plots and learn to grow vegetables and flowers?

Below photos taken by MSRL on 1/22/2017 showing Syrian Refugees using Beirut's new "Aleppo Park."

- Advertisement -

Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
(Image by Meals for Syrian Refugee Children)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
(Image by Meals for Syrian Refugee Children)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
(Image by Meals for Syrian Refugee Children)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
(Image by Meals for Syrian Refugee Children)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
(Image by Meals for Syrian Refugee Children)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
(Image by Meals for Syrian Refugee Children)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
Meals for Syrian Refugee Children
(Image by Meals for Syrian Refugee Children)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Since 2013, Professor Franklin P. Lamb has traveled extensively throughout Syria. His primary focus has been to document, photograph, research and hopefully help preserve the vast and irreplaceable archaeological sites and artifacts in (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

'US MUST STOP FUNDING ISRAELI CRIMES'

Has the battle for Aleppo birthed Foreign Legions preparing a Sunni-Shia endgame?

Presidents Assad and Putin have ordered their forces to again liberate "The Jewel of the Desert"

Why Obama is Declaring War on Syria

Libya's Liberation Front Organizing In The Sahel

Netanyahu to Obama on election: When we say jump, you say how high?