Wednesday, April 9, 2014

“Either we live with dignity and they leave us alone or we leave. We do not have the right to travel to any Arab country, and we do not hold any passport. All we have is a travel document that no one recognizes. The idea of ​​claiming the right to emigrate is not aimed at giving up the right to return, but at living a decent life and staking a future for the Palestinian people,”

Haitham al-Ghuzai, a Palestinian refugee living in the Ain al-Hilweh camp, wants “to emigrate to any country,” because he wants to live in dignity. He wants to work and raise his children and put them through school.

April 8, 2014 Summary: The deteriorating situation in the Ain al-Hilweh camp in Lebanon has pushed Palestinian refugees to call for emigration rights, as they are not allowed to work or live a decent life. 

Another Palestinian man in the camp said, “Emigration is an escape from the tragic reality that the Palestinian people are experiencing in refugee camps in Lebanon. The idea of emigration came up after the events of Nahr al-Bared.”

He said, “We will not abandon the right of return, but nothing here pushes us to remain. ...”


A Palestinian man holds a child as he sits next to graffiti depicting late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, Nov. 11, 2013.  (photo by REUTERS/Ali Hashisho)
Camps were set up across Lebanon after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war for Palestinians who fled their homes or were driven out by advancing Israeli troops. BBC NEWS In pictures: Conflict in Shatila
The War of the Camps left Shatila in ruins. The original camp area was rebuilt, but refugees were prevented from reclaiming homes built in outlying areas. BBC NEWS In pictures: Conflict in Shatila ... The War of the Camps (Arabic: حرب المخيمات) was a subconflict within the 1984–89 phase of the Lebanese Civil War, in which Palestinian refugee camps were besieged by the Shi'ite Amal militia.
Lebanon, 1986. Fighting tied to the Lebanese Civil War in and around the Shatila camp destroyed many homes. Kamel Lamaa/AFP/Getty Images A Visual History of Palestinian Refugees
A Palestinian woman hangs laundry at her home in front of destroyed buildings in the devastated Nahr al-Bared Reugee camp in north Lebanon, 07 January 2008. (AFP - Ramzi Haidar)

Palestinian women carry portraits of relatives who were killed during the Sabra and Shatila massacre in 1982, during a march in Beirut, Sept. 16, 2011.  (photo by REUTERS/ Sharif Karim)  

Palestinian refugees at the Jaramana Refugee Camp, Damascus, Syria in 1948.
Syria, 1967. A camp administered by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for homeless Palestinian Arab refugees near Damascus. Hulton/Getty Images A Visual History of Palestinian Refugees
Residents of the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, queuing to receive food supplies, in Damascus, Syria Photo: AP
Yarmouk, a former refugee camp for Palestinians, has been one of the areas hardest hit by the Syrian conflict. March 2014 UNWRA

West Bank, 1993. Palestinians hand in numbered tickets for emergency ration cards from the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. A 1993 U.N. report noted that overpopulation, unemployment and scarcity of water contributed to the worsening economic plight of Palestinians in the occupied territories. Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images A Visual History of Palestinian Refugees

West Bank, 2001. A 67-year-old Palestinian man in the Dehaishe refugee camp displays the original key and title deeds to the home his family abandoned when they fled their village in the 1948 war in Israel. For many Palestinians, the keys remain a potent symbol of their exile status. David Silverman/Newsmakers/Getty Images A Visual History of Palestinian Refugees

"Highly counterproductive statements by senior officials are more damaging than books by demagogues, which in turn are more harmful than blog postings and tweets by fanatics. But all of this angry bombast should remind those of us who are committed to a future of peace and dignity for both Palestinians and Israelis, based on an end to the occupation, that we are surrounded on all sides by cynical manipulators and wild-eyed zealots." Hussein Ibish

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