Ayman Hujairi’s stone quarry in the barren hills outside the town of Arsal on Lebanon’s northeast border closed its doors after fighting broke out between Syrian militant groups and the Lebanese army three years ago.
Then his stone-cutting factory, also shuttered, was looted of all its machines and equipment, down to the wiring.
But last month the Islamist group formerly known as Al Nusra Front was routed from the outskirts of Arsal. Hujairi and other residents are hoping life will return to normal for a town that has become emblematic of the destabilizing effects of the Syrian civil war next door.
“All the people living inside Arsal are just waiting for the factories to...