In 2017, I joined an International Crisis Group (ICG) delegation to Lebanon, with the intent on learning about the impact of the armed conflict in Syria and the subsequent humanitarian crisis on socio-economic development in Lebanon. We expanded our focus to reflect on the political dynamics in the country due to the resignation of Prime Minister Hairiri from Riyadh the day before our study tour officially began. The first day we were briefed by Heiko Wimmen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq Project Director for ICG on the history of the refugee presence in Lebanon including Armenian, Palestinian, Syrian, and relations between refugees and host communities in the country. Then, we were briefed by Leila Ullrich, Peacebuilding and Local Governance Consultant, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on support to refugees. Anna Fleischer, Communication and Advocacy Director, Women Now for Development told us about the background & operations of Women Now, which we visited later in the week. We were welcomed by Rasha Shukr, Location Manager, with the Basmeh and Zeitooneh NGO in the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp. Later in the day, we met with Walid Jumblatt, politician and Druze leader. We wrapped up our first day with a traditional Armenian Dinner and a briefing on the
Syrian war by Patrick Haenni and Nir Rosen, Syria experts from the NGO Centre on Humanitarian Dialogue.