Lebanon’s Northern city of Tripoli, with its mixed history of peaceful coexistence as well as conflict, wars and extremism, has been chosen as area of implementation due to rising extremism among youth combined with relative neglect by decision makers. Urban poverty, social marginalization and unemployment are prevalent in Tripoli, due to low levels of education, high school drop-outs, lack of investment and services, high turnover of refugees and migrants, regional political instability, war, and the economic crisis that Lebanon as a whole is experiencing.
Prior to the war in Syria, 51% of Tripoli’s residents, especially in Bab al-Tabbaneh, the old city, Abi Samra and the market area, lived under the poverty line on less than $4/day (Arab Institute for Developing Cities, 2012). Tens of thousands (UNHCR counts 262.000 registered Syrian refugees in Tripoli / North Lebanon) of Syrian refugees have moved into these already vulnerable and impoverished neighbourhoods, exacerbating the existing lack of resources, social services and employment, impacting on social cohesion and increasing mutual resentment which could spark violence and inter-neighbourhood clashes. The focus of refugee assistance in Akkar and Bekaa, means the refugee population in Tripoli has been largely overlooked. The war in Syria and related pro- and anti- Syrian Government positions have exacerbated longstanding conflict between the mostly Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen and mostly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh, resulting in regular deadly clashes. Manifestations of intolerance and extremism have been on the rise.
Only 21% of displaced children and 55% of host community children go to school. Those out of school are mostly engaged in informal employment, child care, household and begging. Youth violence and unemployment was identified by both host and refugee communities as the second cause of social tension in the North Governorate of Tripoli (UNICEF/OCHA Community Vulnerability Assessment, 2015). Both refugee and Lebanese youth at risk, marginalized or disadvantaged, are increasingly drawn towards drugs, crime and militant Islam. The sense of marginalization, local and global injustice, grievances, HR violations, arrests and detention of family and peers and rising sectarian tensions, are driving youth into the arms of extremist groups, where their concerns are articulated, their voice seems heard and a path of action is proscribed. This project is an innovative and urgent initiative to start healing the children living in Tripoli and its suburbs and preventing and transforming radicalisation.
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Co-funded by the European Union
Implemented by Crossarts and IAHV
These project pages are created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of IAHV and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.