Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan

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Middle East » Lebanon
April 21st 2016
Published: October 2nd 2016
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Lebanon is hosting over 1 million refugees. For a country of a population of about 4 million, this is about 20% of their population. 1 in 5 are refugees. All are integrating within existing cities, towns and villages. We are working to upgrade water supply and sanitation infrastructure in the cities to cope with the population increase and extend services in rural areas. This involves many large scale infrastructure projects.

Lebanon and particularly Beruit is a vibrant city full of history and culture. Years of living with conflict mean that people live every moment of life to the fullest because they don’t know what the future holds. Why save for your retirement which may never come, if you can spend your money on a Ferrari now? Why would you attempt to create a stable low risk business which may last for generations, when you could take high risk business opportunities and make millions tomorrow?

While I was working out at the hotel gym a man on the running machine next to me turns to me and after hearing that I’d lived in Africa for the past 8 years says to me “Great! My cosmetics business in Nigera is booming. I need someone with African experience. Come work for me and I’ll make you a millionaire overnight.”

Murray managed to briefly meet up with some ex-Nairobi people, Jo and Simon and family, in Beruit.

Jordan is hosting 650,000 refugees in urban areas and in 2 large camps, Zataari and Azraq. The camps may be better described as small cities. I have been involved in overseeing development of major water supply and waste water infrastructure.

The blog has taken so long as Murray’s phone was stolen in Geneva and he lost all the photos. Special thanks to his colleagues for letting us use their photos. Since moving to Geneva, Murray has now had 2 bikes and a phone “stolen”.

Additional photos below
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3rd October 2016

My phone seems to send photos to my computer all by itself. When I come home and look at the computer there they are. I think that the internet does it all by itself perhaps from wherever I am. It records the place and time as well. Very mysterious.

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