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article imageLebanon Baath Party praised by Syria, Syrian refugees face racism

By Paul Iddon     Jul 25, 2013 in Politics
Syria's Prime Minister Wael Halqi has praised the Lebanese Baath Party for "standing up to occupation of parts of Lebanon."
In its report on that development Daily Star Lebanon cites a Lebanese Baath Party statement which proclaims that Lebanon's "Baath leadership stands by Syria's leadership and people against the conspiracy hatched against it by a number of regional and Arab states."
Lebanese MP Assem Qanso met Halqi in Damascus. Halqi responded to the statement by congratulating the Lebanese Baath party for resisting Israel's past occupation of Lebanon stating that this party's "cadres confronted attempts by the Zionist enemy to occupy parts of Lebanon."
Al Arabiya also has an interesting report today about the racism that many Syrian refugees have to put up with in Egypt and Lebanon. Such racist bigotry is often excused and justified by blaming and attributing many of the different problems in these respective countries to these newcomers.
In Egypt for example they are accused of taking sides in political matters and not simply remaining quiet and on the sidelines. The media there has accused them of recently joining the protesters that supported and sought to keep the recently deposed President Mohamed Morsi in power. In Lebanon they are simply accused of taking Lebanese peoples jobs.
Statistics in Lebanon are quite frightening. The small country is struggling to host 600,000 Syrians who have fled the destructive violence in their country. In Lebanon resentment towards them is rising. A survey showed how a staggering 82% of Lebanese accuse Syrians of taking their jobs while another 70% say they would feel uncomfortable sharing a meal with a Syrian. Another 54% feel that Lebanon would be better off sealing off its border with Syria and refusing to allow any refugees in.
However the report isn't all one-sided and points out that many Syrians have been warmly welcomed and taken care of by ordinary Lebanese. The Lebanese Observatory for the Rights of Workers and Employees for example stated that, "The Lebanese have known war in all its forms. We know only too well what it means to be a refugee. The Syrian people have welcomed us in the past -- we must do the same."
The Guardian has also today published a colorful photo gallery of Syrian refugees marking Ramadan in refugee camps in both Lebanon and Jordan.
More about Lebanon, Baath party, Syria, Jordan, Egypt
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