April 7, 2005


Backlash yields tense times for Syrian workers in Lebanon (Nicholas Blanford, 4/08/05, The Christian Science Monitor)

These days Hassan Alumeddine only leaves his small rundown hotel to go to work. As a Syrian living in a Christian neighborhood of Beirut, he says rampant anti-Syrian sentiment has made him fearful for his life.

"I can't afford to go back home as I need to make money for my family. But we are all concerned at the situation. It's frightening," he says.

The plight of the estimated 1 million Syrian workers in Lebanon has gone largely unnoticed since the assassination of Rafik Hariri, a former prime minister, which sparked a surge in anti-Syrian sentiment. Most Lebanese blame Syria and its Lebanese allies for Mr. Hariri's murder. But it has been the Syrian workers in Lebanon who have born the brunt of the backlash, with enraged mobs beating and even killing some Syrians and tens of thousands of laborers fleeing the country. [...]

"Many people have gone back to Syria," says Mazen Hajjar, who for 25 years has sold Syrian-made clothing in Beirut. "Some of them left out of fear, others were upset at what they were hearing from the Lebanese and left."

If we had today's Press during WWII, we'd be reading touching stories about the lives Germans had to leave behind in Paris as they retreated.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 7, 2005 6:36 PM

Fritz and Renee come from two different worlds, and their countries are at war, yet they've found love amid the rubble. Now, with the American invasion, Fritz has been ordered to leave Paris. He's worried that his new wife and young child will not be safe in American occupied France.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 7, 2005 7:02 PM


Michael Moore's version of Casablance, with Laszlo a Nazi who wants to stay in Paris with Ilse but the French are trying to put him on trial?

Posted by: oj at April 7, 2005 7:34 PM

David -

Was it you who authored the wonderful analysis of "Casablanca" which appeared on this blog some time ago? If so, I owe you another "thank you".

Posted by: ghostcat at April 7, 2005 7:55 PM

There would also be stories about all the 'atrocities' done to the French who collaborated, mourning the need for such venting at those who merely tried to smooth the way for the awkward German visitors.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 7, 2005 8:24 PM

We already had Alain Resnais 'Hiroshima Mon Amour' so that's already been done.

And anyone who has read press reports concerning the alleged Latvian and Estonian mistreatment of their Russian populations, including the fact that both countries have the temerity not to have Russian as an official language, is not surprised by this kind of pro-dictatorship bloviation. It is even less surprising from the Christian Science Monitor, perhaps the most pro-terrorist newspaper in America.

Posted by: bart at April 8, 2005 6:41 AM

The story above is all too familiar. Jobs are to be found only in free market economies, yet the MSM keeps pushing socialism as the panacea for the third world.

If Hassan is sincere, let him denounce Syrian aggression and work for a free Lebanon.

Posted by: erp at April 8, 2005 10:00 AM