“A real Syrian hunt is underway” says Capannini, Project Manager for Lebanon.

“We express s the utmost concern over the recent events of racism against Syrian refugees in Lebanon. We ask that the international community intervene before the situation precipitates with even more serious violence and with the serious risk that it can spread to other cities ». This is what Giovanni Paolo Ramonda, President of the Pope John XXIII Community declares, regarding the expulsion of 1,400 Syrian refugees from the city of Bcharre, in northern Lebanon. An escalation that began last week, following the murder of a Lebanese citizen by a Syrian citizen, which led the municipality of Bcharre, under pressure from popular uprisings, to expel the entire Syrian community.

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In Syria, the Syrian Government attacked Idlib, thus interrupting the ceasefire which had started with the pandemic. No casualty has been reported so far. Syria is experiencing a harsh economic crisis, with extremely high inflation rates, which has been worsened by the pandemic, with non-official sources reporting a high and worrying rate of cases. Poverty is another enemy killing almost as much as war.
In Lebanon, the situation has been quite tense on different grounds throughout the whole month of September. On September 10th a second huge fire broke out in the port in Beirut. Firefighters could bring it under control in a few hours, but panic spread among the citizens, who are still shocked after the explosion on August 4th. A third fire broke out on September 15th in downtown Beirut. Moreover, in mid-September the Lebanese Army had to fight against a terrorist group in Beddawi, near the city of Tripoli.
A pervasive sense of uncertainty is haunting the Lebanese as well as the Syrians. A clear sign of this uncertainty is the increasing number of people who are boarding smugglers’ boats to reach Cyprus. Some of these boats were detected by the Lebanese Navy and UNIFIL, so people, both Syrians and Lebanese, were forced to go back to Lebanon.

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Beirut seems enveloped in a gray torpor, and with it those who live it.
The first few days we struggle to recognize the city, which is usually very hectic and chaotic.
The streets are empty and full of glasses on the ground, even in areas very far from the explosion.
People try to smile, but the weariness they drag on is perceivable.
And it infects us.
We do not make any particular efforts during the day, but when we return home in the evening we always feel so tired and we do not understand the reason why.
“We go around and see the signs of death, we smell her. Let's pretend that this is all normal, but it is not”.

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In the last few days we have been in Beirut, as volunteers for Operazione Colomba. We are working alongside young people who gathered in solidarity networks in order to bring food, medicines, and assistance to those who have been left alone in the reconstruction process.
Let’s support them!

“This area was the blossom of the city, a blossom in the heart of Beirut. And now, look at it…”
Those are the words of a man from Tripoli who is not seeing his family since one year, since he moved down to Beirut to work in the construction site where he also lives.
The site was right in front of the place where we met him; now he’s sitting next to a small coffee  shop and stares at the building. It is still standing but it is quite damaged and nobody knows when the works will start again.

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We first met Mussab on a long and troubled day. He was at the hospital in one of the poorest and most marginalized districts in Tripoli, a town in the north of Lebanon.
It took us a very long time, many efforts and strong determination, but in the end Mussab was granted the possibility to come to Italy, in Genoa, to cure his serious disease. This was possible thanks to a network of solidarity composed by dozens of people and organizations. This is a story of courage, strong will, and change. What we share with you here is another chapter of this wonderful story…

Today Muss, as we now call him, has ended his career at the lower secondary school with an online presentation in front of us, his teachers, who had tailored the questions to suit him. He held the presentation in such a brilliant and involving way that we were really moved and were left speechless, so that we felt unable to say goodbye at the end.
The title of his presentation was “No more wars” and it started with a quotation from an Italian song “C’era una volta la mia vita, c’era una volta la mia casa, c’era una volta e voglio che sia ancora” (Il mio nome è mai più, Jovanotti, Pelù, Ligabue) .
We were his teachers for 2 years, and these were 2 special years for us.

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