Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nahr Al-Barid Update from Angry Sister. My sister Mirvat (who does not like my red shirt--see below), sent me this (I did not edit or change):
"The letter your received is so mild compared to what I saw.....I am really so ashamed to be Lebanese...
Displaced families from Bared are still occupying classrooms in UNRWA school in Baddawi (An-Nasra School), open spaces, uncompleted constuctions, courtyards. No water except UNRWA reservoirs. Showers and WCs are shared by men and women. NGOs are no longer as active as before in relief as they used to be during the onset of the events. Sewage are all around, sick people are looking for treatment. There are still medicines remaining from AUB team. Hariri is still offering on a daily basis one meal: rice and yogurt, for him this is what the Palestinian people deserve!! The pride Palestinian are throwing the food away, let him know that nobody needs his rice and yogurt!!! When it rained many who were living in rather open spaces got their living area flooded. No winter clothes, no blankets, nothing..The school is expected to open soon to students from both camps Baddawi and Bared (around 9,000 students: elementary, intermediate and secondary). There will be three shifts: from 7.00 am till 7.00pm. For girls in the third shift, they will not be able to go back to Bared as the military checkpoint closes at 8.00 pm). No way that the families will be able to go back to Bared soon (today there were almost 1000 families back in what is known the "new camp"). UNRWA is expected to use prefabricated houses, rent apartments as schools..
This is the real tragedy..On my way to the camp, Safa'a, a young children's animator from Bared was telling me about how rude and humilating the Lebanese military were with them on the checkpoint on the entrance of the camp. Did you ever heard of women being searched and having their sanitary pads removed..Well today I have heard about it, this has been carried out on a daily basis, with Bared inhabitants..She continued telling me that the Shiites military were the nicest, they would not search them. Druze were very mean, but the worse were the Sunnites..On Friday there was a wedding (the first one in Bared after theri return, yes it happens that Palestinian love life too), a young shiite military came and presented a bouquet to the couple..Everybdoy was moved: it is so unheard of nowadays. We entered the new camp (the only accessible one): Zone B. If you enter the Zone B, you are not allowed to enter the other zones: A, C, D and E. You feel immediately as if you were entering an occupied territory: you are suspect until you prove your innocence. You have to wait for at least half an hour before they will let you in (although we had an authorization from a health organzation)..
Media are NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER.. If they succeed to enter, their article or other will be later on subject to control and censorship by the army.. All houses were set on fires. Even the house of Marwan Abdel-Al [the lousy PFLP leader in Lebanon who shut his big mouth during the entire ordeal in Nahr Al-Bard and who was coopted by Fath gang in Lebanon--this sentence is written by Angry Arab and not by his sister] that happened to be located on the outer boundary of the camp that was occupied by the Army the second day of war, was set on fire after two weeks from the date of the end of the war. No water, no electricity..There is one generator s distributing electricity five hours a day in the evening. At the bridge built by the Bared refugees recently as they have no access to the original bridge (the army, always the patriotic Lebanese army) next to Bared river, we could see a checkpoint for the army that was a landmark separating the old camp from the new one. You could see the military occupying skeletons of houses listening to very loud music to Hani Shaker celebrating their victory over the Palestinian refugees..On the wall we saw obsene sentences insulting the Palestinian people as if they did not deserve to live, not only in Lebanon, but on this planet.. But children were happy playing on the sandy roads and rubbles. NEITHER A SINGLE NGO NOR A COMPANY (NOT EVEN UNRWA) tried to clean the mountains of rubbles..It is being done by the Palestinian themselves with their friends the volunteers..Abu Jaber told me that they kept them as such expecting that people would go back to Baddawi after seeing earthquakes that destroyed their camp. But Bared refugees, knew more than anybody else that they have no alternative but to come back, even on rubbles..The burned house of Marwan has been rehabilitated to accomodate a sort of clinic and pharmacy since health is the priority for people in spite of the black houses.. The military would not leave a house or place without robbing it and then burn it.. Many families checked their houses before bringing their families, but when they were back, they found them black and empty (although they were not as such the first time they saw it. People are planning to come back gradually (tomorrow some 100 families are planning to go back to bared) without caring about the provocative attitude of the military..
I will have the pictures and the film in the coming days..MEDIA IS SO IMPORTANT..Every body should know about the plight of the Palestinian refugees of Nahr El-Bared
Stay tuned."