When Syrians began streaming into Lebanon six years ago to escape their country’s war, around 1,000 of them found a welcome in the small Christian village of Miziara, in the pine-clad mountains of the north.
That was until the discovery in her home last month of the body of Raya Chidiac, 26, a daughter of one of the village’s wealthiest businessmen. She had been bound, raped and suffocated with a plastic bag. The Syrian caretaker at the family’s home confessed to the killing and was arrested and charged with murder.
The ensuing backlash against Syrians has rippled across Lebanon, exposing razor-sharp tensions between the country’s 1 million Syrian refugees and their hosts that increasingly threaten to open up Lebanon’s own fragile sectarian divisions.
As Europe and the United States are closing their doors to the world’s spiraling number of refugees, especially Syrians, the burden is intensifying in countries like Lebanon that border war zones and receive the vast majority of refugees.
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Featured image courtesy of AP
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