One million Syrian refugees. An inexorable flow of people that keeps growing.
Five hundred-thousand Palestinian refugees, unwelcome guests, forgotten in their ghettoes for 65 years.
A small country with less than four and a half million inhabitants. These are the ingredients of a phenomenon like no others that makes Lebanon a place unlike any other in the World.
A state that hosts a non-state within its heart. A land of invisibles, with no homes, no rights, floating in a limbo.
The Lebanese state does not recognize the refugee status and equates these people running from war to illegal immigrants. Following the trail of a human being stuck in this limbo is not easy.
Lost within small informal camps, in plastic tents spread across the dried up hills along the border. Crowded into abandoned buildings, in the agglomerations that sprout all around the cities. Swallowed up by the Palestinian ghetto-camps.
We are witnessing an exodus with a devastating impact force causing a huge amount of problems: hygienic, sanitary, living, alimentary, social and educational issues. “Lebanon has reached the limit of its endurance: we urgently need help from the international community.” This was the appeal by Lebanese president Michel Suleiman at the United Nations Security Council. Even if we don’t want to see it. this state-not-state is growing under our very eyes. Another black hole birthed by the war.