Syria Businessmen in Egypt Giving Up Hopes of Returning Home

Tuesday, 16 Jul 2013 05:57 AM

By Joel Himelfarb

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Upwards of 70,000 Syrians have relocated to Egypt in order to escape the war in their home country, and many have given up hope of returning, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Many of these Syrians are factory owners and industrialists who are re-establishing their businesses in Egypt on a permanent basis.

Now, in the wake of the military’s ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, Syrian refugees face the possibility of instability and turmoil in Egypt, according to the Times..

The Cairo government has instituted new regulations requiring visas for Syrians, and those arriving at Egyptian airports without them are being sent home on return flights.

An Egyptian Foreign Ministry official told reporters the restrictions are temporary because of the unrest in Egypt following the coup. Syrians complain that some of their countrymen were deported after participating in pro-Morsi rallies.

More than 70,000 Syrians had registered with the U.N. refugee agency in Egypt as of July 8, but the foreign ministry says that in March the figure was 140,000.

The Syrian industrialists now in Egypt “are part of a larger brain and economic drain from Syria that threatens to stymie efforts to rebuild the country after the fighting does end,” according to the Times. “And it is fueling fear of a generation of exiles like that in the early 1980s” during an unsuccessful uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s father.

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