By Laura Fawaz, Contributing Reporter
Lebanonâ€“Lebanon, a young country filled with beautiful cedar trees, lush mountains, the early French influences, and the multiple UN visits and resolutions that were set to protect the Lebanese people, though never followed through with; all this and surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea.
With Lebanon being barely 100 years old, people of Lebanese decent from all over the world have seen their share of devastation. Though this country that was often referred to as â€œthe Paris of the middle eastâ€ has been though a 15-year civil war, the Israeli invasions of 1978 and again in 1982 until their eviction by the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah in May 2000.
In addition, the Israeli invasion in the summer of 2006, displacing Lebanese families from all over the world who were vacationing there. Also, playing a role here is Syria, whose involvement in the beginning was as requested by the Maronite Christians of Lebanon. But since that time, Syria has made a drastic change in support, as they were the ones assisting to make the Israeli eviction in 2000 possible. Since 2013, more and more Syrian refugees were taking shelter in Lebanese villages and cities across the country. Today, there is thought to be one Syrian refugee to every six Lebanese within the country. Today, Syrian refugees within Lebanon make up roughly one of out every 4.5 of the population.
The current one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon is estimated to increase to 1.5 million by December of next year, according to the United Nations. One Lebanese family that I interviewed told me about a classmate of their son who came to Lebanon with his family as refugees from Syria. This third grader came to school one day telling his teacher that his family came to Lebanon to kill the Muslims. Immediately, the police and army were notified, and after finding out that this young child repeated this statement after hearing such plans in his home, they were sent back to Syria. Though this of course is not the case with all of the refugees coming from Syria. Most just want to raise their families in a non-war-zone.