“I have no land. I have no identity. We are not Syrian here; we are refugees.”
18- 27 April 2019
Beirut, Tripoli, the Bekaa Valley. According to the last UNHCR numbers, approximately 38% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in the informal refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley, 27% live in the North of Lebanon (Tripoli) and 25% in Beirut. More than 340.000 refugees live in the Bekaa Valley.
120 refugees (approx.) participated in 9 focus group discussions (FGD) of women, men and youth (20 and below), as well as one-to-one interviews. Each FGD gathered 12 people, with a wrap-up session in which all groups were represented.
Most participants were originally from Syria’s neighboring regions to Lebanon, mainly Homs, Idlib, Aleppo and Damascus-city and suburbs.
The majority of men we met in Beirut were younger (between 25 and 50) and worked, even informally, in construction, bakery, painting, building sector, etc. However, the men we met in Tripoli were older and usually unemployed and presented signs of illness and medical disabilities. Women, with very few exceptions, were housewives. Many of the youth we met in the cities (Beirut and Tripoli) were still studying, while the rest of them were working in informal sectors. Youth in the camps were mostly women and married at an early age. The team also conducted one-to-one interviews with Syrians liberal professionals and student belonging to the upper-middle class who settled in Lebanon due to the conflict but not necessarily claimed refugee status.
Author: Esther Kestemont
Publication date: Oct. 2, 2019