In May 2021, tens of hundreds of Syrian refugees in Lebanon surged in large numbers to Awkar to vote and participate in the Syrian presidency election. Three candidates were nominated to run the presidency after passing through around 10 years of war that destroyed a large number of Syrian institutes and infrastructure. During the day, the situation in Lebanon wasn’t stable. An increase in inter-communal tension and violence was recorded.
Several areas in Lebanon experienced a clash between the Syrian voters holding flags and pictures of Assad and Lebanese nationals belonging to parties against the Assad regime and the existence of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon. This results in damages in the busses and vehicles conveying electors to the Syrian embassy in Lebanon and minor injuries from both sides.
Lebanon is hosting more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees according to the UN. International organizations and governments attempt to provide short and long-term support for the refugees and the hosting community to avoid social, economic, and political catastrophe in Lebanon and among its groups. It’s significant to mention that Lebanon has been suffering since the beginning of the Syrian crisis from its influence on different levels. The situation has elevated since 2019 due to the emerging Lebanese crisis which left both refugee and host communities in a vulnerable state.
The accumulation of the crises in Lebanon, the pressure of the Syrian refugees, and the absence of strong institutes to support their existence alarms the danger of social bombs, both among inter-communal and intra-communal. Lack of sufficient international support to respond to the Syrian crisis, absence of the Lebanese government, and weak international interference to implement the Syrian refugee’s voluntary return to Syrian threatens the relative stability and any chances for the government to support its residents.
Going back through history, Lebanon including the government institutes, and the public should learn lessons to avoid any tragic escalations. Building a community that suffers from poverty, illiteracy, isolation, and discrimination doesn’t align with human rights treaties and any effort to achieve stability and development.