Lebanon’s October Uprising: A Clean Slate for Syrian Refugees?

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Werf, Charlotte Vera : Van Der
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Global Campus of Human Rights
Lebanon’s October uprising of 2019 set off a country-wide movement calling for change affecting the core of the political system. With corruption and clientelism being endemic to the sectarian political establishment in Lebanon, the state proved incapable of providing basic public services to its citizens. On top of that, Lebanon is the country with the highest number of refugees per capita worldwide. Besides many Palestinian refugees, the conflict in Syria has led to an estimated 1.5 million refugees who ended up in Lebanon. As a consequence, these refugees have become commonly used as a scapegoat for many of the country’s problems. In particular, the state’s narrative and media have fed into this. Hence, now that the October uprising mobilised the country against the political system, a more critical view of the state and its narrative evolved. Therefore, this thesis tests whether this criticism of the state has led to a different popular perception of Syrian refugees within the protests. Through in-depth interviewing of prominent Lebanese political activists from the October uprising, data is collected to answer the question: to what extent does the October uprising show a change in how Syrian refugees are perceived in Lebanon?
Global Campus - Arab World.
ARMA - Arab Master’s Programme in Democracy and Human Rights, Saint Joseph University (Lebanon).
Second semester University: Saint Joseph University (Lebanon).
refugees, Lebanon, Syria, social movements, protest, civil society, corruption, media, public opinion