Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Two steps back for Palestinians in Lebanon

Nour Samaha, The Electronic Intifada, 15 September 2010

"....What happens tomorrow?
Jumblatt, on the other hand, says the next move involves shuffling further along the road of Palestinian civil rights and tackling the issue of ownership and land.

"The next step will be the right to property; these people, even those who are refugees on our land, have a right to have a minimum level of belonging," he said. "We allow foreigners unlimited access of land to buy under the pretext of enhancing investment; why can't we give Palestinians the same right to inherit a house, for example?"

For AUB's Hanafi, the issues lay within the attitudes of the Lebanese society, as currently the Palestinians face an uphill struggle against discrimination. Rectifying the situation involves an increased amount of pressure on political parties across the board, coupled with campaigns backed by civil society movements.

"If things remain the way they are, it will make the Palestinian community hostile towards the host country and its legal framework," warned Hanafi. "This is not good. The Lebanese need to see how to integrate and not discriminate." Many young Palestinians, however, see little cause for hope.

"Living in these conditions shatters your dreams," said Khalife, the construction worker from Shatila. "There is nothing to look forward to, and no one has the opportunity to leave the camp. This country kills you.""

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