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Editorial: Inhuman living conditions in refugee camps in Lebanon

Feb. 15, 2013 8:31 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 17, 2013 11:34 A.M.)
NAHR AL-BARID REFUGEE CAMP, Lebanon (Ma’an) -- Trying to get a firsthand experience about the Palestinian refugees living under extremely dire conditions in Lebanon refugee camps, a Ma’an TV crew has visited several families in Beirut camps recently.

Though media outlets have repeatedly tried to touch on the unbelievable living conditions, reality is still much more difficult and living there is really intolerable.

The very question that came to mind was where the international community is when it comes to those Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Are those refugees nothing more than numbers or names listed in registers of a state waiting for death to rescue them from hunger, cold and endless pain?

Surprisingly, the long awaited Palestinian unity was felt while the crew toured the alleys of Nahr Al-Barid camp and other communities. Photos of late President Yasser Arafat, and other “martyrs” regardless of their political affiliation could be seen everywhere on the walls in the streets. There are photos of “martyrs” affiliated to Fatah, to Hamas, to the PFLP, the DFLP, Islamic Jihad and all other factions.

Many refugee families have living in shipping containers in war-torn Nahr al-Barid camp for six years. These containers can never be fit for human residence as they are nothing more than steal boxes. To quote late Palestinian novelist Ghassan Kanafani, these refugees have knocked on the tanker thousands of times, but in vain. It seems that their knocks fell on deaf ears both at Palestinian and international levels.

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