I work with a dozen different nationalities in my office. It is a truly multicultural, trans-national environment that I go to five days a week. Four of my friends are Lebanese. They sit in the open space around me. This afternoon it was quiet, everyone working, each absorbed in his or her task. Suddenly, cell phones rang and people spoke Arabic, their voices raised and worried. My Lebanese colleagues rose in one movement and moved into the corridor to talk amongst themselves and make phone calls to their families and friends back home.
A terrible thing happened this afternoon. If you have Lebanese friends, colleagues, clients, neighbors (or your local hairdresser, shop or restaurant owner) reach out to them. Already, the country is on its knees what with COVID, corruption, the economic collapse and the influx of millions of refugees over the past decade.
Is it any wonder that one of the largest diaspora populations in the world is Lebanese? The majority of them are of the Christian faith.
Lebanon remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita, with Government estimate of 1.5 million Syrian refugees, some 20,000 refugees of other origins, in addition to the Palestine refugees under UNRWA’s mandate. Lebanon has contributed immensely to the response by giving refugees equal access to the public schools, hospitals and social development centres. (source UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency)