Search This Blog

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Syrian expat boom

There is a visible surge in the number of Syrian daily workers in Lebanon. Just walk around Beirut's streets and you can notice that the numbers have significantly increased.

This is probably one of the most "visible" impacts of economic & political problems Syria is facing. Its excess man-force is being sent to Lebanon. This can help Syria's Assad in two ways:
1. bring in much needed currency back to Syria (earn in Lebanon, send to Syria)
2. get rid of a large number of young males, that could eventually become protesters in Syria. Interestingly enough, it is easier for Syria's Assad to control this population in Lebanon than in Syria itself. All Syrians leaving Syria needed to register with the Moukhabarat (secret service), and Syria's Lebanese allies are powerful enough to "control" these migrant workers.

I discussed with a small group of these recent arrival workers this morning. While very vague (or rather citing all possible reasons) on the reasons for coming to Beirut, they clearly made me feel that they were strongly "encouraged" to do so...

No comments: