AP PHOTOS: Syria Refugees Implore for a Living on Beirut Streets

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 9:34 AM

Further down on Hamra Street, his mother and three younger siblings also have their spots, begging for a living. Mohammad Hussein, thirteen, is among the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who fled their country'south devastating civil war, presently in its sixth year, for refuge following door in tiny Lebanon.

A Syrian teenager with shadowy curly hair spends his days hanging around a active thoroughfare in western Beirut, chasing motorists and following shoppers to ask for money. Further down on Hamra Street, his mother and three younger siblings also have their spots, begging for a living.

Mohammad Hussein, thirteen, is among the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who fled their country'south devastating civil war, presently in its sixth year, for refuge following door in tiny Lebanon. Many of the youngest are presently out of school and have to work or beg maintain their families.

Their plight is one of the most visible signs of the unprecedented refugee crisis that's keep an huge strain on neighboring Mideast countries and destabilized Europe. On shopping streets, roundabouts and traffic lights in Beirut and elsewhere in Lebanon, baby beggars are seen, pressing their tiny faces against car windows, stretching their hands out for money or selling chewing gum or flowers for a few coins.

"I wish I could go back to school, I liked school when I was in Syria," Hussein says. "But presently I can't, I'm the eldest and I should support my mother and sisters."

Not only is begging dangerous — Hussein was recently detained by police for ten days — but he also sometimes has to suffer insults from strangers he begs from.

"Some people ... curse me and my people and my country," he says.

Lebanon is residence to more than one million registered Syrian refugees — equal to about a quarter of the Mediterranean country'south 4.5 million people. It'south the highest refugee pop in the world per capita. Lebanon says that another half a million Syrians live in the country as well, unregistered, and executive declare their presence has generated a severe burden that Lebanon can number longer handle alone.

A study published latest year by the International Work Organization, UNICEF and the Rescue the Children charity found that more than 1.500 children live or work on Lebanon'south streets, nearly three quarters of them Syrians who mostly implore for money or sell trinkets by the roadside.

Hussein'south family fled their residence in the mountains of Syria'south Latakia province three years ago. He says he's pleased in Lebanon but wishes he could go back to play with his neighborhood friends.

In Beirut, the teen says he makes between fifteen and twenty dollars a day, depending on his luck that day.

"Nobody gives me work because I'm too young," he says. "This way I can create more money than if I'd a job."

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Associated Press photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne. ws/15Oo6jo

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Chase Hassan Ammar on https://twitter. com/HassanAmmar5

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