[Published here June 5, 2014]
Halima Zaroubi, a frail 80-something-year-old woman, breaks into tears when describing what’s happened to her home. “Our houses are gone, our lands have dried up,” her voice cracks. “Everything’s gone.” Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, millions of people have been forced from their homes. However, Syrians are not alone in having to escape the country’s overwhelming violence. Lebanese by birth and by nationality, Zaroubi had been living in Qusayr, a border town in Syria’s Damascus province, for 60 years. Like tens of thousands of other Lebanese who lived and worked in Syria for decades, Zaroubi and her family were forced to leave and settle back in their native country. But rather than settling back into their native land as citizens, they now live like refugees in their own country.