Saturday, May 26, 2007
Mayssoun Sukarieh writing from Shatila Refugee Camp, Live from Lebanon, 26 May 2007
"......Nuhad, as well as almost everyone else I talked to in the camp, are very touched by an interview they heard with one of displaced, as he was leaving Nahr al-Bared. Apparently, someone had called for the extermination of Palestinians with chemical weapons. "It is better than this slow death we live, better than the uncertainty that haunts us, better than being displaced over and over and over again. We will relax and make others relax too." He said these words in tears, and everybody in the camp quoted him out of total disillusionment, anger and helplessness from their unbearable conditions living as refugees.
The state of solidarity in Shatila has nothing to do with Fateh al-Islam. No one talked about them; everybody felt unconcerned with what was going on between the Lebanese Army and this group. After all, they are not Palestinian and have no popularity anywhere. None of the people I spoke to in Shatila expressed any sympathy with Fateh al-Islam; they just showed concern and anger at the way the Lebanese Army is shelling the camp and destroying the houses of the people.
Nadia says that her cousin said seventy percent of his neighborhood in the camp is totally destroyed. "Maybe it is all leveled now." Nadia, as everybody else in the camp, feels that the Palestinians are paying a price for a fight that has nothing to do with them. It is not a Palestinian group, not a group fighting for the Palestinian or refugee cause, they just were operating from the camp. As for why they had come there, most of the people have the same answer: they always referred to the unbearable conditions of the refugees in the camp, a fact that made them subject to all sorts of exploitation.
Abu Hicham, a seventy-year-old from Sheikh Daoud in Akka (Palestine) -- as he insisted on being introduced -- suggests that it seems they are hitting two birds with one stone. If the government is the party that armed the group in the first place, positioning them in one of the Palestinian camps, to later play on this fact in order to suggest that the camps are places of terror that need to be under total control of the government, maybe this is a step towards a war they will wage on us before our normalization. "You know daughter, they will need to kill some of us before our domestification."......
How all this will unfold is still not clear. What is clear, though, it does not look good for us, daughter," Abu Hicham says. "The future is bleak, as bleak as watching Palestinians being displaced again, and again. How many Nakbas we have to witness before our return, who knows, my daughter, who knows."
If Shatila residents are pretty sure of their disconnection with Fateh al-Islam, they are pretty sure too that something is awaiting them, something that does not look good."