Syrian refugees in northern Lebanon have created a Syrian peace proposal, which they presented to the Italian Parliament in Rome on the occasion of World Refugee Day
During a meeting titled "We Syrians - The peace proposal written by Syrian refugees", the refugees presented their proposal in the Lower House of the Italian Parliament. It called for neutral zones without the presence of armed forces, humanitarian corridors for civilian security and to allow refugees to return home, medical aid to victims and political prisoners, civilian representation at peace talks, the creation of a national consensus government, adjudication of those responsible for the violence, and above all, an end to the bombings and terrorism massacres.The proposal was created in cooperation with volunteers from Operazione Colomba, a nonviolent peace organisation of the Pope John XXIII Community that has been working in Lebanese refugee camps since 2013. Rights for refugees in Syria and Lebanon.
The initiative was presented by Hsyan Abd El Rahim, 39, originally from Homs, Syria. Married with two children, in Syria he was an elementary school teacher and rights activist. He fled his country in 2011 for fear of being arrested by regime forces.During the presentation, he said that once he arrived in Lebanon, "I began working in activism to help my people". In 2013 he founded an association and a refugee camp, where more than 50 families live and where he opened a school and a cultural centre, because he said in Lebanon "there were no schools willing to accept Syrian children". In Lebanon "refugees don't have human rights; the majority of them are denied instruction, regular work, land". He said that's why "more than a year ago we began thinking about a solution that could solve the situation of Syrian refugees".
The first request is "to stop the war and the massacre of civilians, and to guarantee rights to all Syrians, in Syria and in Lebanon". "The solution is the creation of a neutral zone in Syria under international protection from the EU and UN, where it's possible to go back to living," he said. "We want to decide our fate.We're asking that our voice be heard as far as the peace talks in Geneva". "We're not waiting for peace, we want to build it" Joining in El Rahim's appeal was Abu Rabih Satouf, a Syrian who lived for three years in a Lebanese refugee camp before arriving in Italy last year via a humanitarian corridor. "We know that it won't be weapons that will give us back our freedom," he said in his appeal. "We're not waiting for peace. We want to build it together with you," he said.