Happy New Year everyone! I returned from Lebanon a week ago to conduct interviews with my classmate Laila Matar to work on our Policy Analysis Exercise together. I will write more about my trip to Lebanon in a separate post, but for now, for those interested in applying to Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and its capstone project, I’ll direct you do a post Laila and I wrote for the HKS admissions blog.
For a little over two weeks, Laila and I ran around Beirut, Bekka Valley, Saida, and elsewhere trying to meet and interview as many people as possible, ranging from Ministers, politicians, activists, journalists, UNHCR staff, Syrian refugees, Palestinian refugees, Palestinian refugees from Syria, a Catholic priest, Iraqi security forces, and more. The more we learned, the less we knew. Syrian refugees were pouring into Lebanon’s porous borders with no coordinated national policy to properly serve and absorb the refugees while securing existing Lebanese communities. The Syrian refugee crisis — not only in Lebanon, but Turkey, Iraq, and other neighboring countries — is one of the largest humanitarian crises of our time, and unfortunately, the end is nowhere near.
at exhibition in Beirut of drawings by Syrian refugee children