Syrian boys caught in ‘vicious cycle’ of sex abuse, UN says | AFP

[Published here on December 7, 2017]

Beirut (AFP) – Syrian men and boys, in their war-torn country and abroad, have suffered “a vicious cycle” of sexual abuse with more devastating consequences than previously reported, the United Nations said Thursday.

In its new report, “We Keep it in our Heart,” the UN’s refugee agency said it had documented widespread sexual violence against Syrian males, including those seeking refuge.

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Avoiding risky sea journey, Syrian refugees head to Italy ‘pronto’ | AFP

[Published here on March 19, 2017]

Beirut (AFP) – Just before midnight in a sleepy district of Beirut, dozens of Syrian refugees huddle in small groups around bulging suitcases, clutching their pinging cellphones and one-way tickets to Italy.

“Torino! Pronto! Cappuccino!”

They practise random Italian words in a schoolyard in the Lebanese capital’s eastern Geitawi neighbourhood, waiting for the buses that will take them to the airport, and onwards to their new lives in Italy.

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Syrian bands rock Beirut’s alternative music scene | AFP

[Published here April 27, 2015 with photos]

Syrian rock bands fleeing war are finding safety and new fans in neighbouring Lebanon, where they are revitalising a Westernised scene with their focus on Arabic musical heritage.

Dozens of Syrian bands and independent artists have now become mainstays of the Beirut music scene, performing emotive and often bleak songs in front of concert-goers eager for fresh faces.

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