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New visa regulations confuse Syrians

Syrians in Lebanon who have legal residency permits are worried that new regulations will not protect them from being deported.
Syrians stand in a queue to get a visa stamp to enter Lebanon town during their arrival at the Lebanese Masna'a border point in eastern Bekaa, January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi    (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3CSS0

Seated outside a bar in Beirut’s Mar Mikhail neighborhood, Firas (a pseudonym) held a cigarette in one hand, a drink in the other and the weight of the world on his shoulders.

“I’m not a refugee. I’m self-sufficient,” he said, his voice cracking and for a brief moment tears welling up in his eyes. Firas works two jobs, one at a restaurant and the other at a pub, to get by. They help supplement his real passions — acting, rapping and stand-up comedy. As Firas regained his composure, he stated with certainty, “Nobody knows what is going on.”

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