The hotel is not wat we expected at all, there was no sheet in the bed and we are sharing it with a few other creatures, like cockroaches and other bugs. My first thought was no way; I do not want to sleep here. However, but after a few minutes of thinking, realised that I was behaving really stupid with my thoughts. When I have been out travelling before I have not minded sleeping in worse places that this, sometimes sharing rooms with rats. And when I thought harder about it, looking back how I was living in the refugee camps in Algeria, this place seems like heaven in compare.
But I am not here for wasting tome on complaining about my bed, I am here to learn about the refugee camps in Lebanon.
Today, Mohamed and TAKAFUL has taken us to two of the camps in Lebanon, the first one we visited is 1000 square meters and with 25000 refugees. Because of the small area the houses are built on the height and the higher the building becomes the darker the ground become. One can not drive through the camp because the alleys are so narrow, the sour system is not very good, and the electricity system is very dangerous. All the cables are hanging in the air with no protection from the rain and they can easily fall down and electrifies people to death. That happens all the time, and the children that are out playing are at the biggest risk. However, we were allowed to go into a flat, and I was actually surprised that they were so nice inside. But then I was told that this was the nice part of the camp.
The Lebanese government are renting the land to UN that are supposed to provide for the people who has got the refugee status, but from my understanding, the Lebanese people are not happy at all with having the Palestinian refugees in their country. Lebanese authorities have decided that Palestinian refugees are not allowed to work in Lebanon, 72 different skills, not even if they are qualified as a medical doctor.
But the thing is that we are humanitarian workers and our task is to give ambulances to people in need, regardless ethnicity, we are not politicians, nonetheless, it is very difficult to avoid the political angle of the problem.
We also handed over the Ambulance keys to the authority of TAKAFUL, an organisation that are working with strengthen the women’s and children’s right in the Palestinian refugee camp society. They are doing a very good job. And as they also were pointing out when they got the ambulance keys; It is important to turn the head from, ethnicity and religion when helping people, the main thing is to look upon every human being equal, and help the one that are in need of help. Personally, that is my philosophy as well, that is one of the great reasons why I am doing this in the first place.
After visiting the refugee camps we actually went to ‘Bay Rock’ a very nice restaurant, which is surreal, because it is very alien from the camps. I am not sure how to think about it, because it is two different worlds. But I am very grateful being me, and I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to see both worlds. It is quite difficult to write about this without making it sound… I can not even find the right words for it.
Today has been a different day, and I will need time to reflect and making sense of everything I have seen and heard from all the people I have met in the Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut.
To be continued..