Effects of war and civil unrest in Lebanon
Lebanon has long been a country plagued by violence. The Lebanese civil war didn’t really end in 1991. The Israeli army was still occupying a part of the Lebanese territory which lead the Lebanese resistance to continue its military operations against them, and then Israel responded to these operations by attacking Lebanon several times. The war with Israel ended in 2000. The Israeli army withdrew from the area except from Shebaa farms and the hills of Kafarshuba. The 2006 war with Israel killed more than 1100 people and injured another 4000. The Israeli army threw more than a million cluster bombs over the southern territories, which caused them a constant tragedy, especially for the children. Since the July war in 2006, 70 people died and 600 wounded were victims of cluster bombs. The 2006 war in Lebanon affected the psychological state of many young people and children, especially in the South, the Bekaa and the Dahieh regions. Children were subjected to stressful experiences including the loss of parents, relatives and friends, the destruction of homes, displacement and other traumatic experiences. Left unaddressed, these experiences can create further negative mental patterns for young people: violence, isolation and social exclusion. And these experiences are left unaddressed. There are few professionals to address these issues.
Displacement is considered one of the biggest shocks of war in terms of losing the familiar and safe area. Displacement is serious because of its effects on mental health, behavioural adjustment, the deterioration of school life.
The past few years have seen much political instability. Tensions in the country have increased. They reached a critical point in May 2008, when militias fought openly on the streets of Beirut, pushing the country to the brink of a new civil war. Sporadic fighting still occurs, and the situation remains volatile.
People here do not know much about trauma and resilience. There are lots of traumatised people around here. Like other personal problems people can or do not want to admit that they are traumatised. They might not even know why they developed certain patterns of behaviour.
War is not something which just affects you only immediately. Exposure to war increases all kinds of mental illnesses. Many Lebanese resort to drugs to treat disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety, and depression, or simply to deal with the difficulty of living in a country in turmoil.
- Pray for traumatised people in Lebanon. Pray for healing and that people might get to know God as their healer.
- There are not enough professionals around for treatment and people are not able to afford treatment. Pray for Christian workers to make friends with traumatised people as friendship can help people to open up and talk about their experiences.
- Pray for peace for the country, inner peace and political too. The ongoing unrest does not encourage healing