Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Look For Ramadan Happiness

Published April 19th, 2021 - 04:26 GMT

Lebanon, home to more than 1 million Syrian refugees, is reeling from an economic crisis exacerbated by the pandemic and a massive explosion that destroyed parts of the capital last August.

The holy month of Ramadan has made the lives of Syrian refugees in Lebanon even harder amid their host country's economic woes. 

The struggle can be more pronounced during the holy month when fasting is typically followed by festive feasting to fill empty stomachs. More people resorted to reducing the size or number of meals, it said. 

Refugees are not alone in their pain. The economic turmoil, which is the culmination of years of corruption and mismanagement, has squeezed the Lebanese, plunging 55% of the country’s 5 million people into poverty and shuttering businesses.

This year, Syrians marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the uprising-turned-civil war in their country. Many refugees say they cannot return because their homes were destroyed or they fear retribution.

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This picture shows children born in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli

This picture taken on April 15, 2021 shows children born in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli, posing for a picture by a grave. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabitants were born there. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP

hildren argue by a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli

Children argue by a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021, where multiple marginalised families reside. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabitants were born there. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP

A boy sits on a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery

A boy sits on a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021, where multiple marginalised families reside. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabitants were born there. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP

Children play by a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery

Children play by a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021, where multiple marginalised families reside. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabitants were born there. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP

A boy sits atop a grave with a sign quoting the Holy Koran

A boy sits atop a grave with a sign quoting the Holy Koran -- reading in Arabic "you are dead and they are dead" -- in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021, where multiple marginalised families reside. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabit

A woman grills chicken near a grave, as she prepares the fast-breaking "Iftar" meal

A woman grills chicken near a grave, as she prepares the fast-breaking "Iftar" meal, consumed after sunset during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021, where multiple marginalised families reside. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on externa

A woman fries potatoes as she prepares the fast-breaking "Iftar" meal

A woman fries potatoes as she prepares the fast-breaking "Iftar" meal, consumed after sunset during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in a common room used by multiple marginalised families living in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on ext

This picture  shows an elevated view of shacks where multiple marginalised families reside in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery

This picture taken on April 14, 2021 shows an elevated view of shacks where multiple marginalised families reside in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabitants were born there. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP

This picture shows children born in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli
hildren argue by a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli
A boy sits on a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery
Children play by a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery
A boy sits atop a grave with a sign quoting the Holy Koran
A woman grills chicken near a grave, as she prepares the fast-breaking "Iftar" meal
A woman fries potatoes as she prepares the fast-breaking "Iftar" meal
This picture  shows an elevated view of shacks where multiple marginalised families reside in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery
This picture shows children born in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli
This picture taken on April 15, 2021 shows children born in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli, posing for a picture by a grave. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabitants were born there. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP
hildren argue by a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli
Children argue by a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021, where multiple marginalised families reside. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabitants were born there. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP
A boy sits on a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery
A boy sits on a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021, where multiple marginalised families reside. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabitants were born there. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP
Children play by a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery
Children play by a grave in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021, where multiple marginalised families reside. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabitants were born there. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP
A boy sits atop a grave with a sign quoting the Holy Koran
A boy sits atop a grave with a sign quoting the Holy Koran -- reading in Arabic "you are dead and they are dead" -- in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021, where multiple marginalised families reside. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabit
A woman grills chicken near a grave, as she prepares the fast-breaking "Iftar" meal
A woman grills chicken near a grave, as she prepares the fast-breaking "Iftar" meal, consumed after sunset during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021, where multiple marginalised families reside. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on externa
A woman fries potatoes as she prepares the fast-breaking "Iftar" meal
A woman fries potatoes as she prepares the fast-breaking "Iftar" meal, consumed after sunset during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in a common room used by multiple marginalised families living in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli on April 14, 2021. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on ext
This picture  shows an elevated view of shacks where multiple marginalised families reside in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery
This picture taken on April 14, 2021 shows an elevated view of shacks where multiple marginalised families reside in the Ghoraba (Strangers) cemetery, named after the neighbourhood where it is situated in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli. People started settling in the "Ghoraba" cemetery back in 1955, due to a flooding of the Kadisha (Abu Ali) which runs through Tripoli. Gradually over the years, poor people from across northern Lebanon, like Akkar and Donnieh followed, illegally building dwellings in layers during the civil war and its tumultuous periods of chaos. Since 2019 and until now, the graveyard is overflowing with residents and can no longer accept more newcomers, where already 120 disadvantaged Lebanese families and some 30 other Syrian ones compete with the dead for a place of rest. Some of its marginalised residents work mainly in Tripoli's cleaning industry while others totally rely on external aid. Most of the child inhabitants were born there. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP