Wednesday, June 6, 2007

1967: Where to now?

For refugees in Lebanon, each anniversary recalls displacement, destroyed homes, and shattered lives.

By Faiza Wannas
(Faiza Wannas is a Palestinian refugee from the Galilee. She is an education specialist and the coordinator of the General Union of Palestinian Women in the north of Lebanon)

The Guardian

"Having worked with children for many years, I've noticed that they often get to the heart of the matter before we do. In an arts workshop I helped organise a few days ago, a 12-year-old drew Palestinians forced out of their cities and villages in 1948, and again in 1967. He then drew a picture of the current displacement from our homes in Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon, writing beneath it in large capital letters: "Where To Now?"

The drawing touched me, steadying me at a time when I've been rushing so much, unable to reflect upon things. It made me realise that, although the naksa was supposed to be over 40 years ago, we are in fact living it right now.

I put all my life savings into our family home in Nahr el-Bared. My parents and siblings did the same. We thought we would be able to live safely there until we were allowed to return to Palestine but were proven wrong when the bombardment of our camp started two weeks ago......."

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