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Refugee Camps…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 16, 2007


Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lebanon

Those are HOUSES, even multi Story Houses – they have real walls made of concrete, real roofs and STREETS in between them – yet they are called Refugee Camps. Compare those to this image of “buildings” in a Darfur Refugee camp

At best those “buildings” are mud-huts with tarp roofs…

Here are some suffering, malnourished Palestinian Children “getting no education” the

marka-in-jordan.jpg

Here some happy, smiling, healthy Palestinian Children are playing in the courtyard of a House in Marka “Refugee Camp”, a house much like this one in Talbieh “Refugee Camp”

Talbieh was set up on an area of about 130,000 square metres, 35 km south of Amman. Tents were donated by the Iranian Red Lion and Sun Society, who later replaced them with concrete “shelters” – that as you can see are actually HOUSES – much unlike the real shelters used by the real refugees in Darfur.

Baqa’a:
Due to the harsh winters in Jordan UNRWA replaced the tents with 8,048 prefabricated shelters between 1969-1971 with special contributions from the Federal Republic of Germany. Most of the camp’s inhabitants have since then constructed more durable concrete shelters to replace the prefabs.
Eyewitness account from the Baqa’a “Refugee” Camp:

“It was with some apprehension that I walked behind the façade of the storefronts and into the camp proper. I was surprised to find a reasonable standard of roading and footpaths, and what appeared from the outside to be housing that was adequate in terms of warmth, shelter, security – sort of reminiscent of our state house units, only built from crude bricks and stones and some significantly more crowded. Certainly an equal amount of “tagging”, which is equally hard to decipher in Arabic or English.”[…]”Many of the refugees are unable to gain permanent employment outside the camps, although some do appear to have very good jobs and incomes. Some of the residents own cars, including some fairly new-looking Mercedes, so life is not totally grim or fruitless.”[…]”It seems that around half the population of this particular camp, Baqa’a, were children under about 15. Schooling is seen as very important and the children generally appeared happy and healthy and were fluent in Arabic and English.[…]This couple had both attended school through to age 14 within the camp, and had a variety of work, and still both work fulltime. The extended family lives mostly together, and have a “joint family” car, a humble 1980s Toyota. Two of their children have obtained Jordanian citizenship and live and work outside the camp.”

Marka:
The tented camp was set up on an area of about 917,000 square metres, 10 km north east of Amman. The Agency’s plans to provide stronger tents to withstand the harsh winters were dropped in favour of the construction of prefabricated shelters, and 4,000 were built between 1969-1971 with support from the Federal Republic of Germany, the Government of Italy, the Jordan Development Bank, and the Near East Emergency Donations. Most of the camp’s inhabitants have since replaced the prefabs with more durable concrete “shelters” like this four story House in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip. This is the “Refugee Camp” Baqa’a in Jordan:

Baqa’a Refugee Camp

After seeing these pictures it’s hard to believe that the majority of Palestinian “Refugee” Camps are anything but ordinary Arab Cities/Towns – like the Center of Sanaa?

Minaret in Saana

Or this in Al-Shatti/Shati Beach in the Gaza Strip,

alshatti.jpg

the home Town of Ishmail Haniayeh, the former Prime Minister of Palestine – what a horrible place indeed! Really, who are they trying to fool?

The world of course – by claiming that they in third and fourth generations are refugees or displaced like their grandparents, they suck sympathy from the Western World, Help Organizations and feed us stories about how horrible the conditions are in the “Refugee Camps” – and that might have been true right after the 1948 and 1967 wars – but now it is certainly a crock of goat manure.

This article, including artworks and photos are © Henric C. Jensen aka Shadow Bear and are NOT public domain, unless otherwise specified.

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2 Responses to “Refugee Camps…”

  1. Patrick said

    While you cannot deny that the structures in Palestinian refugee camps are far better than those in Darfur or Ethiopia or any one of a dozen other places, they are still refugees. They are still an exiled people upon whom blame for their own predicament is placed, and who have been denied the right of return by Israel.

    Compare the photos of Palestinian refugee camps with photos of the Israeli suburbs. There is an obvious power imbalance.

    Even if living standards are high compared to other refugee camps, they are still refugees. There is no certainty to life; the situation in camps in Lebanon in past months have shown us that life in one is dirt cheap.

    They are not living on their own soil; they do not have democratic representation for the land in which they live; they have no rudder and no landmark in their lives, asides from the eventual hope of returning to Israel/Palestine.

    Like

  2. Patrick,

    This entry was a reply to those who make Palestinian refugee camps out to be Israeli Concentration Camps comparable with those of Nazi Germany.

    Besides, it is true that the Towns that I have depicted here look like any other Arab Town, they even look like Israeli Towns.

    There is a deception going on, and I wanted to point to that.

    I also wanted to point out that most of these people are not refugees, most of them were born in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and not in Palestine or Israel.

    I also wanted to point to the FACT that the Towns depicted here are situated in Lebanon, Jordan etc – where the inhabitants of those Towns are not treated according to International Standards. This is not the doing of Israel.

    I didn’t hear anyone complain about how Lebanon invaded and killed in one of those Towns in Northen Lebanon these past months.

    Like

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