SYRIAN, PALESTINIAN REFUGEES in Lebanon 2017

Tripoli. Brought lots kinder toys for kids. Wanted to share the with the most poor ones. My girl friend introduced me to a Palestinian friend. He shoved me around. We came to Palestinian refugee camp…. Nope, wrong place to look for the most poor. Yes, right. Palestinian refugee camps are not so bad as seemed to me before. They had time to build real town in a town and kids don’t really care of toys, unless it’s a real car, motorbike, something serious. They have their own schools, shops, businesses….. . Other camps were forbidden to enter for strangers so we just passed by. They are closed due to used to happen terrorist attacks. There are military at each of their entrances. To enter there need a special permit. These Palestinian guys helped me to get into Syrian camps. They promised to their friend the help so kept their word. If they couldn’t help me, they would find someone else to help me. It’s a matter of honor.

Syrian refugees camps were the right places to visit – they really had no even houses. These camps are in the north of Lebanon. One of the camps, I had a chance to visit was Nahr al-Bared situated 16 km from the city of Tripoli. Habitants  used to have visitors who each time bring something to the camp. It’s not really a place just to come to gather around and make pictures. From the very beginning the refugees were informed that I came to share the toys, that’s all. I didn’t want to go there but the Palestinians insisted that I had to share the toys by myself. Lots kids around. Kids seeing the toys became wild. My friend had to be very strict with them to make them listen to him. They have no education, no discipline…. We had even pretend that we were leaving in aim to make them stay calm to get a toy. It was hard to see their miserable life but at least it was good to make some small creatures smile. On other side, women wanted to undress me. They insisted me to give them my scarf, ring (my mistake, I had to remove my grandmas ring before coming here). They intrusively insisted to give them everything I had.

Some 30,000 displaced Palestinians and their descendents live in and around the camp, which was named after the river that runs south of the camp. Lebanese have problems in finding jobs as Syrians propose to do the same work cheaper.

If refugee boy marries a Lebanese girl, he won’t get Lebanese passport and their kids will be refugees too. Refugees here can’t buy and owe a flat. If they buy, when die, then their kids won’t succeed it. Refugees have rights to live in towns too, if they can afford it. It’s all about money, no money, stay in a camp, have money, do whatever wanted. In each camp they have 1 responsible and no hope for brighter future.

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Diana Vaneta

Just another wonderful day. In my stories you won't find lots of descriptions of visited and seen beauties. Usually such information is easy to find on the internet. For me, the most important is how visiting places and meeting people made me feel. The real beauty of a country can hardly be described by words. In order to preserve privacy, all the names of persons in my stories are changed. And unfortunately my destinations are not intended for lazy, comfort-searching tourists. My priority is to explore countries which are considered ‘dangerous', complicated or out of the average lists of tourist destinations and mainly involve places, which there is little or no information about. You would ask, why? My answer is, because usually in those countries people tend to be the most incredibly welcoming, friendly, respectful, helpful. Every time I leave them, I leave a piece of me with my newfound family.

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