While hitchhiking last summer in Lebanon, a friend and I were offered a free ride by a Syrian taxi driver — one of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who work in the country.
After verifying that we were in no way able to procure him a visa to Europe, he began reciting the travel itinerary he would soon undertake in order to get there, where he hoped to earn money to send to his family in Syria.
The impending trip involved a trek across part of Libya and then to Italy by boat, of the variety that regularly capsizes in the Mediterranean.
As if the obstacles to his freedom of movement in the world weren’t already bad enough, they have now been rendered even more complex by new restrictions on Syrian existence in Lebanon, a country that previously maintained an open-door policy with Syria. Far from being necessary, such steps taken by Lebanon’s ruling class provide a convenient scapegoat for its inability to govern. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA AMERICA.