Beirut's Karantina district: Amid the devastation, old tensions surface

Issued on: 14/08/2020 - 11:14Modified: 14/08/2020 - 11:15 Relief operations are underway in Karantina, a poo

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Relief operations are underway in Karantina, a poor Beirut neighbourhood near the port that was devastated in the August 4 blast that tore apart the Lebanese capital. But with anxieties heightened and resources scarce, decades-old tensions between Lebanese and Syrians are coming to the fore.


Every day here, locals picking up the pieces in the wake of the disaster queue for basic necessities provided by NGOs. In that daily struggle for survival, some Lebanese look askance at the Syrians joining the procession for aid.

No country has taken in more Syrian refugees than Lebanon, but in this fresh crisis — yet another in a series the country has faced — local aid groups are looking inward.

"We try to give to everyone, Lebanese and Syrians. But first of all, this aid is for the Christians of Ashrafieh who have been affected," Theresa Badr, of the Steps of Hope NGO, tells FRANCE 24.

FRANCE 24's Nadia Massih, Abdallah Malkawi and Karim Yahiaoui filed this report from Beirut.

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