A video made by a group of Lebanese students stuck in Russia was shared online on Tuesday, April 7th.
The Lebanese reporter Sobhiya Najjar posted this video in which the students appeal to the Lebanese government to assist them. Sobhiya followed the video with the following caption:
“The suffering of Lebanese students in Russia. I received a new video sent by students from Baalbeck, Lebanon, completing their studies in Russia. These students want to return to their country because universities closed their doors.”
“The economic situation of their families is very difficult and no one cares about them as they were not on the list of returnees that the government has classified,” the reporter said.
“They are students from a poor class and they do not belong to any political party. They cannot pay their daily expenses due to their families’ difficult economic situation,” she stressed, adding that there a total of 500 Lebanese students in Russia, and they are all demanding the Lebanese government to consider their condition.
The video is truly heartbreaking. One of the students, Abbas from Shmestar, Baalbeck, who is now on his fourth year studying medicine, started by stating hard facts:
“Poverty is what drove us to Russia… If we were well-off, we would’ve been next to our families right now. The phenomenon of unemployment existed in Lebanon long before the COVID-19 outbreak.”
“Our parents aren’t working, they can’t send us money, and this has been going on for a while, even before coronavirus.”
Abbas said that the Lebanese students in Russia have been waiting for their universities’ decision to close so they can leave. Now that this decision has been made, they want to return home; they have been stuck in their residences in Russia for almost two months.
According to him, all the students’ families aren’t earning enough money to provide for their children studying abroad; first due to the dollar exchange rate and second due to the lockdown.
Hamzeh, also from Bekaa, was next to speak. He started by saying that he and his friends aren’t begging for money, they are all demanding their rights to return to their country, and that the ticket prices be made acceptable.
“We want to return to our country with dignity,” this is how Hamze put it. Mohammed from Shmestar pleaded: “Our government, please see us. We are struggling to eat. We can’t take it anymore.”
Mohammed and Abbas said that those listening amid Lebanese politicians and ministers to consider these guys as their own kids.
Their demands are clear and they repeated them several times in the video: they want the government to secure their return and they want the ticket’s price to be within reason.
They ended the video saying: “We have transmitted facts.”
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