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Israeli Soldiers Enter Lebanese Terri...
Marjaayoun
By lotfallah
26 Feb 2015

Marjaayoun, Lebanon

February 26, 2015

A force of about 20 Israeli soldiers crossed the Israeli-Lebanese border on February 26 and reached the Wazzani River. The Israeli force, equipped with military dogs, patrolled an area usually used for recreation by local Lebanese. While Israeli airplanes flew over the area and an Israeli armored vehicle was positioned on the Israeli side of the border, Lebanese soldiers and security forces, as well as the United Nations peacekeeping force members, were on alert.

Video includes clear shots of Israeli soldiers on the Lebanese side of the border, the security fence, an Israeli armored personnel carrier and UN peacekeeping vehicles.

Shotlist

Wide of Wazzani River valley
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching
R-L pan of UNIFIL armored personnel carrier
Wide of two Israeli soldiers on guard
Wide of UNIFIL armored personnel carrier and soldier
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching
Wide of Israeli soldiers and Wazzani River
Medium of Israeli soldier on guard
Wide of Israeli soldiers and Wazzani River
Medium of Israeli soldiers marching
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching along Wazzani River
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching
Medium of one Israeli soldier marching
Wide of Israeli soldiers marching
Wide of Israeli armored personnel carrier
Wide of Wazzani River valley
Wide of UNIFIL armored personnel carrier and transmission pole

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Unidentified Body Lands Near Lebanon-...
Marjaayoun
By lotfallah
15 Feb 2015

Marjaayoun, Lebanon

February 15, 2015

An unidentified object fell from the sky in south Lebanon near the border with Israel on Sunday, February 15, according to eyewitnesses. The Lebanese Army searched for the unknown white body, which landed near the Lebanese town of Deir Mimas.

Israeli forces routinely monitor south Lebanon using warplanes and remotely controlled drones. Hezbollah is also known to have to launched several unmanned drones as part of its conflict with Israel.

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Israel Shells Southern Lebanon
Shebaa
By lotfallah
28 Jan 2015

Israeli forces shell southern Lebanon in around the border village of Ghajar Aabbassiye after Hezbollah attacked an Israeli military convoy. The attack is widely believed to be a retaliation for the killing of 5 Hezbollah fighters in the Syrian Golan Heights by Israel earlier this month.

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A Village Divided Between Lebanon and...
Dhaira
By wissam fanash
03 Jan 2015

Various elder residents of a Lebanese village on the border with Israel tell the story of how their village and families came to be divided by the creation of Israel in 1948. Part of the Aramsha clan, their lands included four of five villages that lay on both side of the future Lebanese-Israeli border prior to 1948. Today, they live in constant surveillance (a drone can be seen in the video) and are separated from their kin living in Israel by tank patrols, barbed wire and land mines. One resident speaks of how she lost her leg to a land mine laid by Israelis when attempting to attend her father's funeral on the other side of the border. Since she can no longer obtain a permit to visit her relatives, it has been 20 years since she last saw her family.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of Fakhri Fanash with grandchildren walking in garden
Various of Israeli armored vehicles driving along Israeli-Lebanese border

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Fakhri Fanash, Dignitary of Aramsha Clan
01:26 – 04:49

“We are part of the Aramsha clan, which live in about four or five villages. This is Dhaira; over there are the villages of Idmith, Iribbin and Jordeh. We are all cousins, brothers and relatives. The lands that can be seen within the occupied territories are ours. I can name them: over there is Safra, Bater, Jordeh, Jrad Moussa; this Khallet al-Adas or Khallet al-Saheb. All of these lands were ours. We were part of one tribe. The Israeli invasion, or colonialism, divided this land. Some people are here in Dhaira – about one quarter [of the clan] and three quarters stayed there. There were four brothers, two of whom stayed there and two came here.

After 1948, they [Israelis] started annexing lands and [planting] mines and barbed wires. They set up the land the way they wanted. They took this part of the land.
In the Lebanese part of these territories, which is still with us, there are landmines over there where these olive trees are planted.

Behind Jordeh there is a cemetery, called the Aramsha Cemetery. This was both ours and theirs. You see, when my grandfather died, people were crying. There was a Lebanese Army patrol to keep people apart. All of our relatives from Palestine came to the cemetery, but we were about two meters away from each other. When the Army saw that people were crying and concerned for each other, it allowed people from both sides to come together. There were no barbed wires or landmines in that spot. All people came together, and the funeral became like a wedding because people were able to reunite.

Look at that patrol [DRONE CAN BE SEEN IN THE SKY]. It goes on day and night. There are also armored vehicles and tanks. We have property deeds form the Ottoman era that prove [our ownership over] the land that you can see in front of you, which is vast. We have documents written by the notary of Acre. During peace negotiations between Lebanon and the Israeli enemy, the ministry of foreign affairs asked us to present these papers, which we did. Afterwards, things went bad among Arab countries and we did not get anything from this.”

Wide of Israeli patrol
Wide/ zoom out of Fakhri Fanash’s grandchildren watch Israeli armored vehicle on other side of the border.
Various of Khairiya al-Moghais walking

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Khairiya al-Moghais, Aramsha Clan Member

05: 14 – 09:05

“This is my sister [SHOWING PHOTOS]. These are my brother and his wife. This is also my brother and his wife. And this is my daughter.

It has been about 20 years. I used to visit them before, using a permit. Now I cannot go anywhere. I have not seen her for 20 years. This is also my brother. This is my daughter and this is my other daughter. When I see [their photo] I cry. I wish I could meet them.

I left my parents and ran away to Lebanon when I met my husband. I stayed at my sister’s, and then they took me to Beirut. I was sentenced to one month [in prison].

I have not seen my parents for 40 years.

Interviewer: Are you not communicating with them?
- No Interviewer: You do not know what is happening to them either?
- No, no. They forbid them… we used to shout to each other, but since the liberation we have not dared to talk to them. They do not dare to talk with us either.
Interviewer: Who is preventing you from doing that?
- We are scared. We are scared here. We do not dare. And over there, [Israeli] patrols guard the barbed wire.

I once heard an announcement over the loud speaker coming from the village of Jordeh. I thought my father died. I stepped on a wire. I was not thinking of the wire, I was only thinking of my father. I heard a sound and I thought I had stepped on a metal can. I did not realize it was a landmine. I walked a bit further and the landmine went off. I fell on the ground. I saw that my leg was cut off. I started to scream and people came in a hurry from Dhaira and from the other side, but people could not talk to each other.

I was lying in the middle; Israel was on this side and Lebanon on the other. Then they carried me away.

I stayed on the floor. I then extended my hand to a soldier from a patrol because I was in a lot of pain. I wanted him to lift me. He waved his hand as if to say “no.” They removed the landmines then took me in an ambulance.

I wish I could see my family and daughters before I… Then, I would not care if I died… All my relatives and family… we were all living together happily. Nobody did anything to us. This is our life.”

Wide of Israeli military post
Wide/ traveling of Israeli Humvee driving on other side of border
Wide of United Nation border demarcation barrel
Wide of territory across barbed wires
Various of landmine warning signs
Close up of flour/ demarcation barrel in background
Wide of car moving on other side of the Israeli border
Wide of Israeli military post
Various of landmine warning signs and border fence
Traveling of Jordeh, a village inhabited by Aramsha clan and held by Israel
Various of Israeli military transmission tower
Traveling of United Nations helicopter
Traveling of village Mazraat al-Aramsha, a village inhabited by Aramsha clan and controlled by Israel
Wide of woman walking by border fence on the Israeli side
Various of trees
Wide of houses on Israeli side of the border
Wide of children and cattle on Israeli side of border
Wide of landmine warning sign
Various of children on side of border

NAT Sound (Arabic) conversation across the border
-We are from Palestine. - What is your name? -Mohammad. - Mohammad what? -[UNINTELLIGIBLE] -Mohammad what? -Mohammad Jomaa. We are Arabs, not Jews. - Who are you? -Ahmad -Omar, Ali, Ahmad, Hammoudi, Lyn”

Children on Lebanese side waving the Palestinian flag.
Wide of Israeli Humvee driving by

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Souk El-Khan in Hasbaya, an Old Style...
Hasbaya, Lebanon
By [email protected]
28 Dec 2014

Hasbaya, Lebanon

December 29, 2014

Souk El-Khan is one of the oldest public markets in Lebanon. Located in between Hasbayya, Arkoub and Marjaayoun, it is attended by the merchants and citizens from the South and the Bekaa. Also, in previous times, in was used by the people of Houla in the South Galilee in Palestine; and Houran and the Golan in Syria for all kinds of dealing and trading. Some of the market’s most common goods were cattle, olives and local farming products like seeds, lemons and bananas. Moreover, the market was used as a pit stop for herds of bulls, camels and donkeys coming from Mount Amel, Safad and Houla regions towards the Bekaa and Syria.

The market was given its name after the great hotel built by Wali Abu Bakr al-Shihabi in 1350. The hotel was built with old stones, lime and white sand, and maintains its traditional feel until now. Every Tuesday, merchants spread their carpets under tents of cloth and display their goods on rocks, wooden boards, or in front of their animals and old cars.

Since 2005, the market has witnessed a series of modernization and sophistication. Through a cultural project funded by USAID along with the implementation of Mercy Corps, which completed a full integrated outline, the market became not only a commercial epicenter but also a station to various cultural, artistic and social activities, a space for recreation in times of holidays and festivals, and a popular destination in the various political events and festivals.

The market occupies more than 30,000 square meters. All along the Hasbani river’s west bank, popular stalls are spread, offering nuts, falafel, and grilled meats to attract the people’s attention. Also found are affordable goods brought by traders from Nabatieh, the South and the Bekaa Valley. Moreover, the market has, since 2006, become the intent of many UNIFIL forces.

Nowadays, the market is cut by a tight road for the cars, around which small shops are present and to its sides tents are mounted to handle the products. There are many alleys and side streets to the market. To the right of the road, between eucalyptus and cypress trees, products like clothes, dresses, carpets, shoes and home utensils are displayed. To the left of the road, all kinds of fruits, vegetables and sweets are displayed. To the south, we find a big market for meats and barbecue products. Also to the south, exists a big animal market used for trading cattle. Additionally, there is a section for plants: fruit trees, forest trees and various flowers. The noises, sounds, discussions and variety of local dialects show the market goer that social interaction plays a major role in the market.

Hasbayya has kept the market within its interest. It has therefore cooperated with foreign funding entities aimed at updating the market’s infrastructure, while preserving its old-fashioned traditions and feel. Consequently, the work was distributed over 8,000 square meters, in addition to the renovation of the Khan over four thousand square meters. The project included the construction of eighty shops roofed with tiles, surrounded with parking lots that fit up to two hundred and fifty cars. Distributed inside are green spaces that hold old trees. In addition, the project holds a slaughterhouse, bathrooms and a multi-purpose exhibition room built of concrete, with a meat market on its roof. This is the heritage of Souk El-Khan. Also, the project includes a public park equipped with seats and amusements for children with ongoing security under the municipality’s supervision.

Shot List

Wide shot of Marjaayoun area
Close up on the sign boards
Various shots of the traffic, the merchants, and the people in the area of the market
Various shots of cattle in the market
Various shots of butchers in the market and people eating meat.

SOUNDBITES

(01:11-02:08)

(Arabic, Man) Unnamed

Al-Khan market is the oldest vegetable market in Lebanon. A bit down from here, there used be a khan [a hotel], where people from many countries used to stay and sell their merchandise on camels and horses.
I am 70 years old now. I used to come here with my father to sell iron tools, for agriculture and so. Until this day, I still come here, I made a family, built a house, bought properties, and my pocket is full, thank God, all because of this market.

(02:32-03:08)

(Arabic, Man) Unnamed

Al-Khan market is located in the center of Marjaayoun area in Hasbayya, it dates from the ottoman times. It is a very ancient market, and as we said, the inhabitants of the area come here to sell their products – grains, cattle, grapes, figs, nuts and almonds, and vegetables.

(03:51-04:07)

(Arabic, Man) Unnamed

We have been coming here for 20 years. We have to come to the market to trade and sell.
Interviewer: What do you sell?
I sell cattle. I have a butcher shop and I sell cattle.

(04:36-05:06)

(Arabic, Man) Unnamed

It is a very old market, over 200 years old. Caravans used to arrive here carrying agricultural products, silk, and fabrics. There used to be a khan a bit down from here; it used to be a station for merchants and their cattle. There, they were able rest and then to continue their journey to the south.

(05:18-05:35)

(Arabic, Man) Unnamed

Now it is all about money, you buy something and you pay for it. Before, it used to be a trade system. People brought chickpeas, and took tomatoes in exchange for them, or exchange cabbage for bring tomatoes. Now, this does not take place anymore.

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Hezbollah War Museum
Mleeta, Lebanon
By Cherine Yazbeck
14 Dec 2014

Where "Earth Speaks to Heaven": A Day at Hezbollah’s War Museum

Text by Cherine Yazbeck

A scenic hill in South Lebanon that Hezbollah fighters once used to launch attacks against Israeli troops is now a museum to commemorate martyrdom and victory.

This is the Mleeta war museum. Built in 2010, it stands as a reminder of Hezbollah’s main source of popular legitimacy – the liberation of southern Lebanon from Israeli occupation. Hezbollah fought against Israeli troops during their occupation between 1982 and 2000. In 2006, Hezbollah also fought a bloody war against Israel that lasted for 33 days.

The museum stretches over more than 65,000 square meters and includes an outdoor exhibition as well as a projection hall and indoor cafés.

On display are military equipment, fatigues and weapons of different calibers abandoned by Israeli troops as well as equipment used by Hezbollah fighters.

This project is still under development. Once completed, it will include a luxury hotel, a paintball arena and a cable car station that offers visitors a scenic view of the area.

While Hezbollah has been discreet about the project’s cost and source of funding, it is estimated that the museum has so far cost several million dollars.
The Lebanese Ministry of Tourism recognized the “Tourist Resistance Landmark”, as Hezbollah names the Mleeta museum it, as an official Lebanese tourist site.

The main gate has a college campus feel. At the entrance there is a café, a souvenir shop and snack bars. After climbing long stairs, the visitor reaches a circular observation area in the middle of which there is a memorial plaque honoring fallen fighters.

One is free to either walk around alone or join a complimentary guided tour in different languages. Guides are former militants who generously share their experience with curious visitors that flock to Mleeta from the Persian Gulf, Hezbollah’s Lebanese supporters, in addition to a few Westerners.

The guide suggests that Hezbollah is not a terrorist group and aims only at defending its country. In its war to defend Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the party has tried to distinguish itself from Sunni militias it is fighting, which it labels as “terrorist”. Hezbollah says the purpose of its involvement in the Syrian quagmire is only meant to deter extremist groups from threatening Lebanon.

A tour of “victory”

The tour starts with a short documentary film extoling the militia’s victories, accompanied by a soundtrack of explosions, military music and religious chants. The film features footage of Hezbollah’s battles against Israel and the group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah giving a speech, claiming that Israel “has fallen.”

The indoor exhibition hall showcases a variety of captured Israeli arms and equipment displayed in glass cases and galleries beneath ground level.

On the wall, a large panel with aerial photos maps out the destruction and casualties which Hezbollah claims were inflicted on the civilian population during the last Israeli incursion into Lebanese territories in 2006. Other giant panels offer a detailed anatomy of Israel's military machine and show satellite pictures and map coordinates of potential Hezbollah targets in the Jewish state.

Across the main square is the “Abyss” – a construction that symbolizes Israel’s defeat and withdrawal from Lebanese territory. It consists of a two 20-metre wide hollows that contain mangled Israeli tanks amidst giant Hebrew letters and scattered ammunition. Inside the round sunken arena lies a model of an Israeli Merkava tank with its gun barrel tied in a knot – this is a mockery of Israeli forces, portrayed as weak and defeated.

Scattered around the outdoor arena, Israeli military hardware and empty vehicles carcasses lie belly-up to underline the victory of the Party of God over “the Zionist enemy”. The labyrinth of walkways allows a 360-degree view of this dramatic “art” installation.

The combination of reality and artistic narrative continues as the path leads into the woods, where networks of waist-high trenches, camouflaged by small oak trees, lead to a tunnel; these are the rugged tracks that battle-hardened fighters used during the occupation to monitor enemy positions and hide from war planes and drones. The reconstitution seems unrealistic at times; however, the life-size models of resistance fighters planted in “daily-life” poses fuel some realism.

The details of the constructed setting are important as they display the nitty-gritty reality of a Hezbollah guerrilla fighter. Resistance against the enemy and martyrdom are the two major themes of this outdoor exhibition.

This former hideout was part of the militia’s trench-line. The pathway links up with the “Cave”, the “Outlook”, and the ‘Tunnels”, all of which formed part of the defensive complex used by the fighters. A field hospital and a camouflaged rocket launching site portrait the experience of “fierce mujahideen” who patiently endured all kind of hardships.

"The Cave" was once used secret as a secret bunker. Hezbollah fighters dug it over the span of several years and had to work in discretion, day and night.

A large part of the network lies underground, dug deep into the rocky hillside. Hezbollah built a legend around its tunnel digging skills. According to the tour guides, it took the fighters over three years to hack out the limestone. Under occupation, this underground complex housed hundreds of fighters and was equipped with a kitchen, a prayer room, a field hospital, a dormitory, a command room and living space for up to 30 fighters.

The passage takes visitors to a lookout point high above villages perched in rolling hills. The spectacular green and peaceful scenery contrasts the exhibition’s military ambiance.

For Hezbollah supporters, Mleeta is revered as a symbol of courage, commitment and sacrifice.
Unlike official war museums in Western countries, in Mleeta, the party has added a religious militancy as well as an emphasis on martyrdom. The exhibition’s cryptic slogan "Earth Speaks to Heaven" sounds like a philosophic statement that summarizes Hezbollah’s reliance on religion as a source of political legitimacy.

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Blood and Rain: Ashura in Southern Le...
Nabatieh
By Cherine Yazbeck
03 Nov 2014

November 4, 2014
Nabatieh, Lebanon

Followers of the Lebanese Shia political party Amal commemorate Ashura in the southern Lebanese town of Nabatieh. Despite bans from top Shia religious leaders against self flagellation rituals, participants beat themselves with swords and proudly paraded their bloody heads and shirts.

Ashura commemorates the death and martyrdom of Imam Hussein in the battle of Karbala in 680 AD. Hezbollah, Lebanon's other major Shia political party also held their own separate Ashura commemoration a few days later, but self flagellation rituals were not permitted.

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Khiam Detention Center
Khiam, Lebanon
By lukas.goga
08 Oct 2013

Khiam Detention Center was a prison camp during Lebanese civil war in 80´s and 90´s. After withdrawal of Israeli army from Southern Lebanon in May 2000 the camp was preserved in the condition it was abandoned. It became a museum of Lebanese resistance. During the 2006 summer conflict between Israel and Lebanon it was destroyed by Israeli Air Force.

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Syrian Children Take Refuge in Tyre, ...
Sour, south Lebanon
By hussein baydoun
07 Apr 2013

His name is Ahmad 8 years old, when he grows up he wants to be in the army to fight all the terrorists in his country as he says, he's from Rakka and now refugee in Sour where the Shiite areas are, South Lebanon.After more than 2 years of conflict, Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon. There are around 500,000 in the area so far, with Hezbollah helping them with food and medicine, but the security situation is not good.

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Syrian Children Take Refuge in Tyre, ...
Sour, south Lebanon
By hussein baydoun
07 Apr 2013

His name is Abdelrahman, 3 years old from Daraa, now he is in AlGhaziye district in south Lebanon with his family, when he grows up he wants to fight with Bashar el Assad. His father was killed by the Syrian army.After more than 2 years of conflict, Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon. There are around 500,000 in the area so far, with Hezbollah helping them with food and medicine, but the security situation is not good.

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Syrian Children Take Refuge in Tyre, ...
Hamra, Beirut, Lebanon ,
By hussein baydoun
07 Apr 2013

Her name is Bushra, 9 years old from Rakka. All she wants is to go back home. She is a refugee in Sour, south Lebanon.After more than 2 years of conflict, Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon. There are around 500,000 in the area so far, with Hezbollah helping them with food and medicine, but the security situation is not good.

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Syrian Children Take Refuge in Tyre, ...
Sour, south Lebanon
By hussein baydoun
07 Apr 2013

Fatma is 5 years old from Halab she loves to swim and when she grows up she wants to be a nurse. Now she is a refugee in Sour where the Shiite areas are, South Lebanon.After more than 2 years of conflict, Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon. There are around 500,000 in the area so far, with Hezbollah helping them with food and medicine, but the security situation is not good.

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Syrian Children Take Refuge in Tyre, ...
Sour, south Lebanon
By hussein baydoun
07 Apr 2013

Her name is Ahlam, she is 4 years old, from Homos, she loves to ride bicycle. Now she is a refugee in south Lebanon. After more than 2 years of conflict, Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon. There are around 500,000 in the area so far, with Hezbollah helping them with food and medicine, but the security situation is not good.

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Syrian Children Take Refuge in Tyre, ...
Sour, south Lebanon
By hussein baydoun
07 Apr 2013

His name is Abdelrahman, 3 years old from Daraa, now he is in alghaziye district in south lebanon with his family, when he grows up he wants to fight with Bashar el Assad. His father was killed with the Syrian army. After more than 2 years of conflict, Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon. There are around 500,000 in the area so far, with Hezbollah helping them with food and medicine, but the security situation is not good.

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Syrian Children Take Refuge in Tyre, ...
Sour, south Lebanon
By hussein baydoun
07 Apr 2013

Children Syrian Refugees in Ghazieh camp in south Lebanon pose for pictures. After more than 2 years of conflict, Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon. There are around 500,000 in the area so far, with Hezbollah helping them with food and medicine, but the security situation is not good.

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Syrian Children Take Refuge in Tyre, ...
Sour, south Lebanon
By hussein baydoun
07 Apr 2013

A boy called Ibrahim stands in the camp, he is 5 years old, his family camp is in Sour, south Lebanon.After more than 2 years of conflict, Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon. There are around 500,000 in the area so far, with Hezbollah helping them with food and medicine, but the security situation is not good.

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Syrian Children Take Refuge in Tyre, ...
Sour, south Lebanon
By hussein baydoun
07 Apr 2013

A refugee named Ilham from Halab.After more than 2 years of conflict, Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon. There are around 500,000 in the area so far, with Hezbollah helping them with food and medicine, but the security situation is not good.

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Syrian Children Take Refuge in Tyre, ...
Sour, south Lebanon
By hussein baydoun
07 Apr 2013

A group of Syrian refugees where there camp is in South Lebanon, in Sour area. After more than 2 years of conflict, Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon. There are around 500,000 in the area so far, with Hezbollah helping them with food and medicine, but the security situation is not good.