Rafik Hariri International Airport. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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Four years after Saeed fled Syria first to Lebanon, then Turkey and finally finding resettlement in Brazil he was briefly reunited with his mother and three sisters in Beirut.With borders slamming shut for Syrians around the world, and many refugees unable or unwilling to return to Syria for fear of military conscription, arrest or targeting by armed groups, Lebanon has become one of the only possible meeting grounds for families separated by the war although not always an easy one.Until 2015, Lebanon did not require a visa for Syrians entering the country. After the influx of Syrian refugees to Lebanon now believed to number more than 1 million the country tightened its restrictions, but did not completely slam the door on Syrians visiting. That means that rather than entering Lebanon as a Syrian citizen, he must apply for a visa as a foreigner. Hoping to arrange a meeting in Lebanon with his parents who had remained in Syria, he applied twice for a visa and was rejected both times.With politics in Europe, America and elsewhere making permanent reunification increasingly difficult and going back to Syria still not an option for many, Boothby said, the option of reuniting briefly as some families have in Lebanon, may be the best available.
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