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The Social Stability Context in the Nabatieh & Bint Jbeil Qazas

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This report presents a brief analysis of the social stability context in the Qazas of Nabatieh and Bint Jbeil in the Nabatieh governorate, a sparsely populated religiously and politically homogenous area which hosts a small number of Syrian refugees. The highly securitized border area is economically dependent on migrants’ remittances and agriculture, with a few small industries. The area is largely dominated by the strong presence and popularity of a limited number of actors, namely Hezbollah and the Amal movement and the security apparatuses, with a few secular and nationalistic parties. Although relatively stable, the report elaborates on sources of tension with the Syrian refugee population in the area particularly given Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian conflict. At the security and political levels, harassment and attacks on Syrian refugees and disrespect of their freedom, either because of their perception as a threat of terrorist attacks or in retaliation to events in Syria is the major concern locally, while opportunities for reporting of these assaults and their fair management are limited. An ambiguous and bureaucratic national level policy on the residency of Syrian refugees is feeding discriminatory attitudes and further weakening the refugee population. These issues and dynamics are experienced against a backdrop of solidification of support for Hezbollah locally because of the rise of fundamentalist militant groups and desire of marginal groups to appease the party. The report recommends the prioritization of rights based support and protection of the refugee locally, by local actors and national government alike, and the investment in improved relationships by supporting longer term development projects for Syrians and Lebanese alike.