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How many of the 500,000 pro-Syrian demonstrators are Syrian guest workers?

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Nearly 500,000 pro-Syrian protesters waved flags and chanted anti-American slogans in a central Beirut square Tuesday, answering a nationwide call by the militant Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group for a demonstration to counter weeks of rallies demanding Syrian forces leave Lebanon...

Oddly enough, there are hundreds of thousands of Syrian guest workers in Lebanon. How many of those protesters are in fact Syrians? Is there a shibboleth-style way or similar to tell a Syrian from a Lebanese? Could we trust the MSM to report on the national origin of the pro-Syrian protesters?

Syrian guest workers are mentioned here, here, and here. The Reuters report reads similar to all those other stories about illegal immigrants in the U.S., even including a bit at the end about Syrians doing jobs the Lebanese won't do.

If many or most of the protesters are guest workers, perhaps we could take this as yet another lesson that guest worker programs have massive downsides.

UPDATE: A little birdie says: "I don't think Syrian guest workers were a large part of the demonstration. Most are Sunni, not Shia like Hezbollah." I'll wait for a more authoritative source to report on the breakdown of the demonstrators.

UPDATE 2: See "Ex-PM: Hezbollah rally numbers manipulated".

Immigration2005a · Tue, 03/08/2005 - 12:34 · Importance: 1

Wed, 03/09/2005 - 05:48
sincerely

there were not syrians bulking
the no. in the rally. the
media might wish it so. the
no.s were so great because
there were 30 political
parties called out.

Wed, 03/09/2005 - 00:36
eh

I have also seen the Shia aspect discussed elsewhere. So it seems Bush better be careful, or he may just get what he wishes -- a brand of "democracy" in the Middle East that will bring about a Shia block of Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon.

And how is it that elections can take place in Iraq under complete US military occupation, when Bush insists they cannot in Lebanon, where Syrian troops are stationed in only a part of the country?