By Oriol Andrés and Nicolas Lupo
The municipalities of Lebanese towns are imposing new measures upon the massive arrival of Syrian refugees to their localities. The winter is coming and towns like Jezzine, a major Christian town one hour south of Beirut, has imposed a night curfew to the Syrian people. Around 2.000 Syrians are living now in this little town of no more than 5.000 inhabitants and the municipality council has imposed this and other measures to control the presence of Syrian people. The curfew is in a growing number of Lebanese towns are imposing it to Syrian refugees.
1st sequence / 0:00 to 0:19
General shots of Jezzine + Garage with kids
– Intro of Jezzine: 5.000 inhabitants and 2.000 refugees. – Mohammad lives with his family and four more in a little garage. – Curfew imposed to the Syrians by the municipality
2nd sequence / 0:19 to 0:34
Mohamad (Syrian refugee):
“If you wanna go out a cigarettes, maybe they are gonna see you and beat you. If you wanna go to the doctor you have to hide for the people not seeing you.”
3rd sequence / 0:35 to 0:46
General shots of Mahmoud and the house
Jezzine is the only place he knows in Lebanon because he used to come here some months every year to work. Now he is unemployed and owes 3.000 dollars.
4th sequence / 0:47 to 1:17
“The rules until now still present everywhere in Lebanon this rule is present: in Jezzine, the Bekaa, the Shouf. After 7 you cannot go out, expect for basic things. I have someone sick or dying, you can go out. Because they need from the people not to go around and walk because they don’t want any problem of security. Because they want to control the situation, to be safe for everyone.”
5th sequence / 1:18 to 1:25
General shots of Jezzine
The night curfew was implemented few months ago, and many other towns have followed.
6th sequence / 1:26 to 1:38
General shots Mayor Jezzine
Khalil Kharfous is the new mayor of Jezzine after the last mayor was removed from his position in October.
7th sequence / 1:39 to 2:11
Mayor of Jezzine Khalil Kharfous:
“They should stay in one place, we have identified as well where they can stay. And if they want to move to another location as well they have to tell us about it. We are not allowing them to go and come a lot after 9 or 10 o’clock”
8th sequence / 2:12 to 2:15
General shots Jezzine
9th sequence / 2:17 to 2:34
Mayor Khalil Kharfous:
“We have first of all social problems. You know, the integration of those people within Jezzinian society, it’s not something really easy.”
10th sequence / 2:35 to 2:42
General shots Jezzine
But not everyone agrees on the measures and points at culture reasons behind those municipal decisions.
11th sequence / 2:43 to 2.56
Edgar (local resident):
“People has a first reaction, especially with conservative mindset, they are resistance for any stranger presence in their towns”
12th sequence / 2:57 to 3:04
General shots Suleiman
Suleiman was born in Jezzine and is worried about the arrival of winter and the lack of money and food of the refugees
13th sequence / 3:05 to 3:26
Suleiman (local resident):
“Jezzine is a small town and we have a lot of refugees coming from Syria. The winter is coming and we don’t have many job opportunities in Jezzine and that is a major problem. Those families have kids and they have to feed those kids, and when there is shortage in money, it is very risky.”
14th sequence / 3:27 to 3:31
General shots Janet
Janet, owner of a antiquary shop in Jezzine, also thinks like Suleiman and points at the problems that the Lebanese already face.
15th sequence / 3:32 to 3:54
Janet (local resident):
“There is a problem because now the winter is coming and there is nothing in Lebanon. We just help ourselves and we cannot help anyone else. What we have here? We don’t have anything. We already went out of the war. Lebanon there is no place enough for the foreign people.”
16th sequence / 3:54 to 4:08
General shots Yara Shehayed
Some organisations denounce the discrimination of those measures toward the Syrians. Yara Shehayed is a member of Anti Racism Movement, who points at the situation of foreigners in Lebanon.
17th sequence / 4:09 to 4:37
Yara Shehayed (Anti-Racism Movement):
“So they started implementing curfews as a political propaganda of ‘we are here as a government’, ‘we are here to protect you from migrants because they are increasing the level of crime’.” “So, every time the government is absent somewhere, they do this. So, this is political propaganda, one. Second, it’s illegal; third, is racist; four, is like a huge violation of the rights of the migrants: they have at the end of the day the right to go out.”
18th sequence / 4:38 to 4:51
General Shots of Syrian refugees
Most of the refugees receive a little help from the NGOs. In Lebanon there is no refugee camps unlike Jordan or Turkey and most of the approximately million Syrians are in need while the government decided not to intervene in any way.
19th sequence / 4:52 to 5:03
Mayor Khalil Kharfous:
“There is no plan or no vision at the government side how to put on place some, you know… controls… over those refugees.”
20th sequence / 5:04 to 5:10
“We need a huge step, and a huge work from the government because they are the decision makers, they have the money.”
21th sequence / 5:11 to 5:26
Thousands of refugees are arriving to Lebanon while the ongoing Syrian conflict doesn’t seems to have an end. The fear of conflict between locals and refugees is present in a country where a quarter of the population is Syrian.