Displaced and Dispossessed in Lebanon

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In southern Lebanon, a war is raging with Israel, which is tearing apart the fabric of society, disrupting the already fragile economy and eradicating any sense of security.

Amid the rubble, I had the opportunity to sit down with Ali Hassan, a father of two, whose life has been upended by the violence engulfing his homeland. He is from the Naqoura area but is now staying in a school-turned-shelter in Tyre. Ali’s story is not unique — it echoes the plight of countless others who find themselves caught in the crossfire.

“I used to own a supermarket,” Ali begins. “It was not just a means of livelihood; it was my family’s lifeline. But when the war reached our doorstep, everything changed.”

According to recent reports from the United Nations Development Programme, the conflict in southern Lebanon has led to a staggering 40% increase in unemployment rates, with businesses shuttering their doors and livelihoods evaporating overnight.

“I had no choice but to flee,” Ali says. “Our home was too close to the border, too exposed to the barrage of bombs and gunfire. And with each passing day, the danger only grew.”

Ali’s supermarket, once bustling with customers and commerce, now lies in ruins — destroyed in the undeclared war. With no income to sustain his family, Ali and his children were forced to seek refuge in a nearby school-turned-shelter, joining the ranks of the displaced and dispossessed in Lebanon.

The economic fallout of the conflict extends beyond Ali’s story. According to data from the World Bank, the GDP of southern Lebanon has plummeted by an alarming 15%, exacerbating poverty and pushing families to the brink of destitution.

Of course, the most devastating impact of the war lies in its toll on human lives. As security concerns escalate and violence continues unabated, innocent civilians like Ali and his children find themselves living with interminable fear and uncertainty.

“I just want a better future for my children,” Ali says in a voice so low that it is almost a whisper. “But how can I provide for them when everything I’ve worked for has been reduced to rubble?”

As the world looks on at the terrible devastation of Gaza, the plight of people in southern Lebanon scarcely registers in the global news. But Ali’s story is a reminder that the human cost of the conflict stretches well beyond a single region. Behind the headlines and statistics lie stories of dreams deferred and lives shattered. Until peace comes to the region, the people of southern Lebanon will continue suffering.


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