Photos: Syrian refugees in Lebanon camp forced to destroy homes

This week around 35,000 Syrian refugees are affected by the demolition order, including 15,000 people in the northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal region. The demolition order could make at least 15,000 children homeless. Blaming them for a string of economic woes in the country, the aim of this decision is to prevent Syrians from staying permanently in Lebanon.

UPDATED ON JUN 14, 2019 12:18 PM IST 8 Photos
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Workers demolishing a concrete shelter at a refugee camp in the northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal, in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. With a government ultimatum looming, the men in the sprawling Al-Nour camp this week took to the roofs of their own cinderblock homes to remove sheets of corrugated iron and start hacking away with sledgehammers. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

Workers demolishing a concrete shelter at a refugee camp in the northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal, in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. With a government ultimatum looming, the men in the sprawling Al-Nour camp this week took to the roofs of their own cinderblock homes to remove sheets of corrugated iron and start hacking away with sledgehammers. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 14, 2019 12:18 PM IST
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Around 35,000 Syrian refugees are affected by the demolition order, including 15,000 people in the Arsal region, UNHCR says. The order will affect 4,000 structures in the region, municipality head Bassel al-Hujeiri said. “The aim of this decision is to prevent Syrians from staying permanently in Lebanon,” he said. “As the municipality, we are applying the state’s decision.” (Joseph Eid / AFP)

Around 35,000 Syrian refugees are affected by the demolition order, including 15,000 people in the Arsal region, UNHCR says. The order will affect 4,000 structures in the region, municipality head Bassel al-Hujeiri said. “The aim of this decision is to prevent Syrians from staying permanently in Lebanon,” he said. “As the municipality, we are applying the state’s decision.” (Joseph Eid / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 14, 2019 12:18 PM IST
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Abu Mohamed lost his house in Syria early in the civil war. Six years on, it’s happening again -- only this time in Lebanon and he has to destroy it himself. His family and thousands of others crammed in this remote mountainous region have been ordered to demolish hard shelters, which the authorities consider illegal construction. “We lived in this room, we were content. We told ourselves that some people dream of having a shelter like this one,” said Mohamed. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

Abu Mohamed lost his house in Syria early in the civil war. Six years on, it’s happening again -- only this time in Lebanon and he has to destroy it himself. His family and thousands of others crammed in this remote mountainous region have been ordered to demolish hard shelters, which the authorities consider illegal construction. “We lived in this room, we were content. We told ourselves that some people dream of having a shelter like this one,” said Mohamed. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 14, 2019 12:18 PM IST
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Lebanon, a country of some four million people, hosts between 1.5 and two million Syrians on its soil after they fled the eight-year civil war next door. Nearly a million of these are registered as refugees with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Due to the demolition, refugees are moving to tents that are barely big enough for them. “In Syria, the chickens lived in a better home than this one. At least they never got rained on in winter,” Mohamed said. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

Lebanon, a country of some four million people, hosts between 1.5 and two million Syrians on its soil after they fled the eight-year civil war next door. Nearly a million of these are registered as refugees with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Due to the demolition, refugees are moving to tents that are barely big enough for them. “In Syria, the chickens lived in a better home than this one. At least they never got rained on in winter,” Mohamed said. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 14, 2019 12:18 PM IST
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Syrian refugee camp seen in the northeastern town of Arsal. Lebanese politicians and part of the population have called for Syrian refugees to go home, blaming them for a string of economic woes in the country. Rights groups, including Amnesty International, have warned that Lebanon is using restrictive measures such as evictions, curfews and raids to encourage repatriation. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

Syrian refugee camp seen in the northeastern town of Arsal. Lebanese politicians and part of the population have called for Syrian refugees to go home, blaming them for a string of economic woes in the country. Rights groups, including Amnesty International, have warned that Lebanon is using restrictive measures such as evictions, curfews and raids to encourage repatriation. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 14, 2019 12:18 PM IST
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In an alley of the Al-Nour camp, women carry cushions and a mattress out of their homes, loading them onto a truck already packed with travel bags, a fan, and a cooking gas canister. After emptying the room where she and her toddler daughter used to live, 39-year-old widow Leila Abdel Qader now needs to pay a man to take a sledgehammer to it. And she is not looking forward to returning to life in a tent. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

In an alley of the Al-Nour camp, women carry cushions and a mattress out of their homes, loading them onto a truck already packed with travel bags, a fan, and a cooking gas canister. After emptying the room where she and her toddler daughter used to live, 39-year-old widow Leila Abdel Qader now needs to pay a man to take a sledgehammer to it. And she is not looking forward to returning to life in a tent. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 14, 2019 12:18 PM IST
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A Syrian boy walks among demolished shelters at a refugee camp. Aid groups have warned the demolition order could make at least 15,000 children homeless. “This situation also adds to the financial burden of refugees, at a time when we know most of them live in poverty,” UNHCR spokeswoman Lisa Abou Khaled said. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

A Syrian boy walks among demolished shelters at a refugee camp. Aid groups have warned the demolition order could make at least 15,000 children homeless. “This situation also adds to the financial burden of refugees, at a time when we know most of them live in poverty,” UNHCR spokeswoman Lisa Abou Khaled said. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 14, 2019 12:18 PM IST
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Personal belongings of Syrian refugees seen outside a concrete block shelter at a refugee camp. “Here’s my stable,” said the 35-year-old, Abu Naeem, gesturing to the concrete room and provoking laughter all around. “This is what’s bothering the Lebanese government so much?” he asked. “We’re on the border. This isn’t Beirut or a touristic area,” he said. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

Personal belongings of Syrian refugees seen outside a concrete block shelter at a refugee camp. “Here’s my stable,” said the 35-year-old, Abu Naeem, gesturing to the concrete room and provoking laughter all around. “This is what’s bothering the Lebanese government so much?” he asked. “We’re on the border. This isn’t Beirut or a touristic area,” he said. (Joseph Eid / AFP)

UPDATED ON JUN 14, 2019 12:18 PM IST
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