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Sirens and sorrow: victims of migrant boat tragedy returned to Lebanon

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The bodies of some of the victims who died when a boat carrying migrants sank off the coast of Syria this week were returned to Lebanon by ambulance on Friday, blaring sirens, grief and gunshots.

At least 77 people died when a boat carrying migrants from Lebanon capsized, the country’s health minister said.

Among the dead were Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese who fled crisis-hit Lebanon and tried to reach Cyprus by sea for a better future for Europe.

About 20 migrants who managed to survive the shipwreck are now receiving care in Syria.

desperate to escape

Despite the pain felt by the families of the victims, some Lebanese people say they are willing to undertake such perilous journeys to escape the situation in the region.

“They started wanting to die at sea,” said Salim Khalaf, whose brother and cousin are still missing. “If the boat comes here now, I’ll go. I’ll go.”

Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs, the value of the Lebanese pound has fallen by more than 90%, and the purchasing power of thousands of families currently living in extreme poverty has been eradicated.

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