Many Syrians have voiced their shock and disappointment at the treatment they receive at the Lebanese border, where the travel plans of Syrian citizens who wish to enter Lebanon are often at the mercy of unreliable security agents and employees stationed there.
Whether or not the Syrian carries the official documents which the Lebanese government demands as a condition of entry, they are subjected to a number of provocative methods intended to humiliate, blackmail, and extract money.
Maysa, a Syrian citizen who lives in Europe, told Al-Souria Net that she wanted to meet her sisters who she had been deprived of seeing during the five years of war. One of Maysa’s sisters lived in Turkey and another in Syria, and so they agreed, when conditions allowed them, to meet in Turkey. Maysa’s sister living in Syria was forced to enter Lebanon to obtain a visa permitting her to travel to Turkey, after the Turkish government recently imposed new visa requirements on all Syrians.
Maysa said that she was in touch with her sister, who arrived at the Lebanese border on her way from Damascus after obtaining security permission from Syrian authorities. She brought with her all of the required documents, but Lebanese security at the border prevented her from crossing and made impossible demands of her in a provocative manner and in a haughty, repellant tone.
Maysa added that her sister asked for help from others to mediate for her with the officer, who was entertained to see her attempts. She was afraid she would miss the appointment she had made at the Turkish embassy, meaning she would lose the visa, along with her travel reservations, which are a required precondition for obtaining the visa.
Maysa described with bitter disappointment how her sister was subjected to mistreatment and was not helped, despite having brought everything that was demanded of her. She said: “I don’t know what problem some Lebanese have with Syrians. Are they punishing us for what the Assad regime did to them in Lebanon previously? Is the Syrian responsible for what his government did to the Lebanese before?” She asked: “Was the Assad regime merciful with its own citizens in the first place? And isn’t it enough what Hezbollah is doing today in our own country by killing and destroying in the name of defending Assad himself?”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.