Immigration in Lebanon

Term Paper of English 102 Causes of Immigration In Lebanon Ahmad C. Halwany ID#: 2008 03 653 Lebanese American University Abstract For a great period of time emigrants from Lebanon have been establishing communities throughout the world , and have been talking a lot about migration, until the number of Lebanese people outside Lebanon became greater than the double the number of Lebanese citizens. The Lebanese migration seems to have several principal causes.

The first one is the economic causes based on the lack of work opportunities and poverty. The second one is the social cause that concerns the overpopulation, the insecurity and the lack of security programs. The third one is the weakness of the academic level in Lebanon where the attraction of the destination countries to the Lebanese people and the lack of experimental fields and the presence of poor managements in the domain. Hence, how are those causes really affecting the Lebanese migration? Leaving his country is it the solution?

Migration is a very old action practiced internationally, where people migrate carrying a message to other populations or searching for better conditions of survival. According to Elizabeth,B (2003), ” Arabs are not the only people to leave their land searching for new chances in life”(p. 17). By our century, the rule of migration was set to be that people of the third world are the immigrants to the rich states. This truth is the case of the Lebanese immigrants that are expanded in a lot of foreign lands such as the United States of America,

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Australia , Arab Gulf region , European countries and others. Hence, immigration in Lebanon is induced by reasonable factors based on economic, social and academic levels. First of all, one of the important causes of immigration in Lebanon is the economic cause. It includes two essential points like the lack of work opportunities and the poverty in the country. Starting with the fact that the standard Lebanese wage of a normal employee is relatively not enough for a man to afford a good lifestyle for his family and himself.

The opposite conditions in the rich countries will attract him for migration. According to Douglas, S. (1990), “Because of low work opportunities in poor countries and the fact that relatively the wages in the rich countries are higher that in the third world immigration is to be the best resolution for survival. ” (p. 60). Equally important, the statistics of Lebanese that migrated for the same reason as preceded are high. “The total number of Lebanese s who migrated to the USA from 1991 to 2000 is hundred and two thousands Lebanese students” (Tabbara,R, 2001. )(Method 3 section, table 1).

In addition to the number of immigrants, the percentage of jobless people is far above the ground, where more than half of the Lebanese are unemployed and they consist of two groups of people, whether they are not working and searching for work or they are not occupied and not looking for a job. According to Thomas, E. (2003),” In a sample of 200 people, the percentage of unemployed people is more than 50 %”. ( Disable people and employment section, table 1). Still, one of the causes of unemployment and then a cause of migration is the truth a lot of foreigners occupy the job market in Lebanon.

They come from different surrounding countries and are preferred by the Lebanese employer because they are less salaried than a Lebanese worker. According to Haddad, (1996),” The labor market in Lebanon is somehow opened to foreigners more than Lebanese especially in the construction field and in informal services sectors”. (Employment Section, para . 1). Furthermore, concerning the other crucial sub cause, poverty plays an important role as an inducer for migration in Lebanon. It seems to be an important situation of misery that pushes the poor person to search for a way to exit his environment.

And Lebanon appears to have a lot of regions with extreme poverty , and this region is not only concentrated in only one region but a lot more, and statistics of poor people living in these areas are also elevated. As for Haddad, (1996), . ” Poor people living in the urban regions such as Beirut, Tripoli, Zahle , and others work in the civil service ( 31% that live under the poverty line), in industry ( 26%) . They are about 750,000 where 90,000 of them are extremely poor. “(employment Section, para . 1). Last , as for poverty, salaries differ from a country to another because of life style , life demands and needs.

However, in Lebanon, the average wage that a family earns monthly does not seem to be sufficient for the whole demands. For example transportation, eating, clothing, lodging, etc. This is true essentially because almost everything is getting more expensive while the salary is remaining unchanged. This alone is not a major problem facing the reality that a lot of people earn even less than this average income. For illustration and according to Haddad, A. (1996), “In Lebanon , the average wage for a family of five persons that lives moderately is 618$ per month; however, a high percentage of Lebanese people earn less and are considered as poor. (employment Section, para . 1). Second of all, Lebanese immigration is also caused by some social causes based on population matters, instability and deficiency of some security programs. Lebanon, comparing to other countries is an overpopulated country especially in its capital Beirut and some of the suburbs. They have a relatively high percentage of the population density, the fact that is supported by the claim of Korfali, (2007), “The overpopulation of the Lebanese capital and its suburbs is relatively high where its residence is up to 33% of the Lebanese population ” (Abstract section, para. ). Not only in these regions, but the density of the population in Lebanon are also high in other sections of the country “The disproportional extend of the population between the capital of Lebanon, Beirut, and the coastal regions is permitting hazardous crisis in the population density, causing a dreadful public consequence on the Lebanese citizens is believed that population densities vary from 1,610 person/km2 in the coast, 440 person/km2 in Mount Lebanon, and 260 person/km2 in the South, to 120 person/km2 in Bekaa. Social Aspects of Sustainable Development in Lebanon,1997). ” (Status section, para. 1). Additionally, instability is also one of the major social causes of the immigration. In fact, the forced migration is a part of this instability where people had problems and critical situations during the wars period in order not to broaden these problems. In 1989, Abou-rjaili,k. claims that ” The type of migration that took place after the 1975’s war in Lebanon is a forced migration , and it was done in order to avoid some fights and problems “. Abstract section, para. 1). Besides, Lebanon witnessed a lot of wars for example the last war were in the 2006 and a lot of before. The point is that these wars were almost all against Israel , the country that has the same borders with Lebanon. Being till now the Lebanese enemy , Israel keeps on being an element of threatening to the Lebanese stability. Actually, the last warning aimed to Lebanon was lately, ” In the sixth of August 2009, Barak threatened Lebanon of attacking it in case if Hezbollah was a member in the new Lebanese government. (The Israeli Warnings to Beirut , 2009). (Para. 1). Moreover, the presence of multi religions in Lebanon seems to be another social cause of our topic in some places. That may be true because of the fact that the Lebanese war of 1975 was between Lebanese but from different religions. And this can be named as a cause based on the declaration of Faour, D. (2007), ” The diversity and the wide variety of religions in Lebanon tend to create certain unsteadiness. (Para. 4). ” As well as , Lebanon as a government has an important scarcity towards the Lebanese population.

This shortage can be named as a chief cause of the Lebanese immigration. For example , the Lebanese people do not benefit from security programs such as unemployment programs where the government is responsible of taking care of the unemployed citizens. In addition, one of these programs that lacks in Lebanon is the old-age security program where the government takes charge of the old persons after their retirements. The same as Sibai, A. declared in 2004, “Lebanon still lacks the universal old-age security programs. ” ( health care and insurance section, para. 3).

At last, immigration is highly influenced by the academic level in Lebanon which is relatively feeble in comparison to the educational level in other developed countries. This can be easily shown by the high number of the Lebanese travelling in order to study abroad. For illustration, two out of five of my brothers are migrants to the United States of America for studying. One of them just wanted to reach a better degree in order to come across a better position in his career. The other one left his country because the major he wanted is not available in none of the Lebanese universities and it is the aeronautical mechanical engineering.

Two out of five is a high ratio relatively. And a study done by Tabbara,(2001) show that the number of migrating student is high “The total number of Lebanese students who migrate to the USA from 1991 to 2000 is above hundred and two thousands of Lebanese students”. (Method 3 section, table 1). Besides, many of these graduates or undergraduates students in Lebanon get out of their homeland targeting countries with best universities in the world. Such as we can conclude from the “2010 WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKING” ,(2010), “In the 2010 ranking of the best 200 universities of the, none of the Lebanese universities was listed”. PP. 1-7). Next to this fact is the truth of travelling to countries which are stabilized in their security in order to easily find a job after graduating, and not waiting a long period of time being a jobless. Namely, “noting that the Lebanese country is not very stable in its security, affecting negatively the job market, Lebanese students take the choice to continue studying abroad in order to immediately work after graduation”. (Canada gladly accepts highly qualified refugees from Lebanon,2006 para. 2).

Away from this cause, the poor managements and the lack of experimental fields reside to be another factor encouraging the immigration of the Lebanese students. As university students in Lebanon, we almost all plan to continue our higher studies in one of the best universities of the developed countries. My brother is an example of these planners, but when he left seeking for a Masters in Business in London , he had a lot of offers from the United Arab Emirates that attracted him to work with them after graduation. And so he did. Now he is one of the immigrants and he doesn’t come to Lebanon unless for few days a year.

This is the case of a lot of Lebanese that migrate for better education. Rachel,M. F. reinforce this statement by saying “More benefits and additional education are acquired while studying abroad. (2000). (para. 1 ). Not only a high education is acquired out of the country but also a better experience in a job. A lot of students migrate just for having a experience in his job field and end in staying there. As the case of my cousin who went into the petroleum studies in Lebanon and went to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for experience, and now he has been working there for years.

Lack of experiment fields also affects the Medical students. As Elie,(2006), explains “Training abroad, of the Lebanese Medical students, will give them a better advantage than training in Lebanon. The experience acquired will oversupply the job market in Lebanon”. (abstract section, para. 1 ). The last, sub cause exists in the lack of sufficient knowledge about a certain background. There are several jobs in Lebanon that are not given a good consideration in order to ameliorate the career. The same is the fact of the nursing in Lebanon. According to El-Jardali,F. 2008), “The cause of migration of the Lebanese nurse students is a weak management and a lack of knowledge about the context”. (abstract section, para. 1). In conclusion, the Lebanese migration has several foundations based on many of economic causes such as unemployment and poverty, social causes like the overpopulation, the instability of the country’s security and the shortage in the security programs, in addition to the academic level limitations based on the strengths of the destination countries and the poor management accompanied with the lack of the experimental fields of this level.

Now as almost a lot of the crucial causes of the Lebanese migration are diagnosed and knowing that it’s very difficult to stop this migration, will the Lebanese government assisted by the Lebanese people be able to find solutions to these causes in order to at least lessen from the bad consequences? REFERENCES BOOK 2 Boosahda, E. (2003). Arab-American faces and voices : The origins of an Immigrant Community. Austin , TX , USA : University of Texas Press . Muhammad A. F. (2007). Religion, demography, and politics in Lebanon Middle Eastern . . …………. Studies. Volume 43 , issue 6, pp 909-921.

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