It’s my last week in the country, I’m preparing to part with Lebanon. Being hardly allowed to take any pictures and having in consequence had to interrupt my project the past months have been quite frustrating. I’m however glad of the pictures that did come out and my experience in Lebanon will probably lead to a wider essay. Do keep posted for that later on….
I realise that I’m leaving a region with a humanitarian and political situation that is worst than 2 years ago when I arrived and my joy to come back home is somewhat darkened by that fact. More than ever Syria is imploding. ISIS or whatever you call it is trying to enter parts of Lebanon. Refugees that are in the country face increasingly tough laws and hostility from the local community. The refugees that will try to enter won’t be able to since the state has closed its borders to them. International funding is insufficient and most projects will probably be cut off pushing most certainly refugees to seek asylum in others countries. Some will go back to Syria, some to Turkey, some will take their chances with Mediterranean since the EU has made it practically impossible for them to enter a case without physically being on European territory.
The experience of living for two years in the context of the biggest refugee crisis of my time has led me to question international aid. While I am very critic on Lebanon’s response towards refugees, I feel that western governments need to do much more than just to fund part of the aid response. It is urgent for our countries to open their borders so that states such as Lebanon will not suffocate. I can’t help to feel like a hypocrite when my countries (France and England among others) fund refugee camps or educational projects and at the same time persistently forbid access to their territory causing many to drown in the sea while trying to reach a safe place. In a context where the refugee status has been defined by the 1951 UN convention and recognized by all EU members it is morally questionable to forbid access to a country at the border itself towards individuals who are clearly defined as refugees by that same convention. Due to the high number of deaths and the prospect of their certain increase it is urgent for us as Europeans citizens to question measures preventing human beings from entering the EU and to question what is presented to us as illegal immigration.