- By Hanin GhaddarHanin Ghaddar is a Lebanese journalist based in Beirut.
The northern Lebanese village of Wadi Khaled is so close to Syria that its residents can hear gunfire from across the border as the regime of President Bashar al-Assad attempts to put down a persistent revolt from his long-oppressed citizens. And as violence in nearby Syrian cities of Tal Kalakh and Homs has worsened, it has also been a refuge for fleeing Syrians.
According to Sheikh Abdullah, a prominent religious figure in the village, Wadi Khaled has received more than 1,350 refugees from Syria in the past 10 days, most of them women and children. More are expected to arrive in the coming days. Protesters took to the streets by the thousands again on Friday, reportedly flooding the streets of Damascus, Hama, and Homs in defiance of Assad’s crackdown. Human rights organizations have reported that up to 850 people have been killed so far during the uprising, while more than 10,000 have been arrested.