Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Interview: "There are more than 20 dead in our neighborhood"

Sari Chreih and Razan Al-Ghazzawi writing from Lebanon, Live from Lebanon, 6 June 2007

"The following interview is with Saleh Bhar, a medical doctor from Nahr al-Bared camp:

What is your name and profession?

My name is Saleh Bhar and I am a pediatrician at American University Hospital [Beirut, Lebanon)].

We learned that you lost a member of your family during the bombings; which day was that?

During the first hours of the first day of the bombardment. My uncle died in his home when he was hit by one of the shells; he was with his two sons and one of his neighbors......

Do you know of any other relatives who may have possibly been injured or killed?

My uncle's wife was injured. I have many relatives who lost their houses. My cousin Amin Bhar, a dentist, lost his house. My other cousin, also a doctor, lost his house too. My cousins told me that my uncle's neighbor, Raed el Shans, who was with him when his house was shelled, also died with my uncle.

Do you know if anyone in your neighborhood was injured or killed?

My cousins told me that there are more than 20 people dead in our neighborhood, including my uncle, and that they were buried in a mass grave.

Do you remember the names of those who were buried?

Yes, my uncle's neighbor, Raed el Shans, Jihad Azzam, Mahmud Hussen, Ahmad Attayar, Abd el Latif Kza', Jihad Abu el Ezz, Ashraf el Akel, Nayef el Saleh, Fakhri el Hassan. Among these were children no more than 15-years-old, Moahmud Mansur and Amer Mansur......

Are there any organizations working in Nahr al-Bared?

No, there aren't.

Anything else you want to add?

I want to say that though there are many people dying, and it is a tragedy, nobody is talking about them. Another tragedy awaits the survivors; where do they go now? Who is going to rebuild the camp? Are we forever going to stay at other people's houses in the camps?

Do you think that the Lebanese government is responsible?

I think the Lebanese government is racist towards the Palestinians; there was not a single school [that] opened to host the refugees."

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