Earlier this year (2018) I spent three months living and working in the Palestinian refugee camp of Rashedieh, which is located in the south of Lebanon. From where the Mediterranean meets the camp, you can see the land peoples parents and grandparents had to flee. ‘’It’s so close you can smell it’’ I was told. Living here gave me an opportunity to meet some of the around 32.000 people who live here permanently. A refugee camp is originally meant to offer temporary shelter to refugees who stay there while waiting to either travel further, return home or be permanently settled elsewhere. The people in Rashedieh have been living here for generations. 70 years ago they fled, now they are parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
This is the case for several of the camps in Lebanon, in total 12 official UNWRA (The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) are scattered across the country, in addition to 42 smaller so-called ‘gatherings’. Poverty and unemployment, lack of infrastructure and poor housing conditions, in addition to overcrowding are all problems prevalent to these places.
During my stay in Rashedieh I learnt a lot about what it means to be Palestinian in Lebanon. A Lebanon that does not want them. The majority of Palestinians in Lebanon live in camps, simply because they are prevented by law from owning land or property, because they are not - and can never be - Lebanese citizens. Palestinians are treated as foreigners by Lebanese law, but because they are not formally citizens of another state, they do not get the same rights as other foreigners. This also denies them the rights they should have under international conventions, as refugees.
I heard a lot about this systemic discrimination and the hardships the Palestinians face by talking to people I met in the camp. At the same time, they told me of a Rashedieh where people could depend on each other, where they felt protected in their community, and that after they pass the military checkpoint at the entrance of the camp, they can finally relax and feel safe. I documented experiences and stories through photographs and videos, and conducted a large number of interviews with young Palestinians, eager to tell their stories about the camp, Palestine, and their lives. Together, we explored the word ‘home’, in all its different meanings. We talked about what its like being defined a ‘refugee’ in a country you are born in. We talked about what it’s like being young, and having dreams for the future.
The content of this exhibition presents a nuanced perspective of Rashedieh and its adjacent locations, and the lives of people here, some of which call this home.
- Selma Schöttker
In Lebanon, telephone numbers are reused, so when you buy a sim-card, you will get a number that has been previously used by someone else. Chances are high you will receive messages/pictures not necessarily meant for you.
Land Day, March 30th, is an annual day of commemoration for Arab citizens of Israel and Palestinians of the events of that date in 1976.
In 1976, in response to the Israeli government's announcement of a plan to expropriate thousands of dunams of land for state purposes, a general strike and marches were organized in Arab towns from the Galilee to the Negev. In the ensuing confrontations with the Israeli army and police, six unarmed Arab citizens were killed, about one hundred were wounded, and hundreds of others arrested.
Unsecured electric wires are among the most common causes of accidents in the camp.
South of Lebanon and north of Israel seen from the beach in Rashedieh. Many fled the northern villages of Palestine and came to Rashedieh when Israel was established in 1948. Their families still live in the camp to this day.
Screengrab from the Facebook page of Racamp News, a news agency based in Rashedieh. The picture shows a scene from a protest which came as a response to the US embassy being opened in Jerusalem on May 14th 2018. 52 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military forces during protests on the Gaza border on the same day.
In Shatila, a refugee camp in Beirut, kindergarten children have written the names of their home villages in Palestine on oranges. In 1982 massacres were carried out in both Shatila and the neighboring camp of Sabra, by the Lebanese Phalange militia, backed by Israeli forces. The death count is disputed, as it is estimated that somewhere between 460 and 3000 civilians were killed.
May 15th 2018. Palestinians mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the day after Israel was established, when events causing somewhere between 500000 and 900000 Palestinians to be expelled from their homes began. The word Nakba translates to "catastrophe".
What does the word home mean to you?
My country is my one and only home; Palestine. My camp is the only place that ties me to my right to return to Palestine, which is my first and last demand. This life of studying and working, although we are deprived of many of our rights, gives the youth so much power.
How would you describe life in the camp?
It’s very harsh, truthfully. If you want to bring a bag of cement into the camp, to fix your house, you are prevented from doing so. If you want to bring a generator, to use when the power is out, you are prevented. It’s very strict, and there is no work for us. Even if we graduate from university, proud of our good marks, we still can’t get work. We are dependent on NGOs (Non-governmental organisations) and muscle work, but real workplaces we are denied. For students there are some majors we can’t do, either we are not allowed in, or we can’t work in the field after we finish. Like if someone wants to become a lawyer, Palestinians are not allowed to work as lawyers according to the Lebanese authorities. This makes me feel uncomfortable, I want to feel like a real citizen, and go to work.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you?
To be a refugee means that you went to another country, but it also means that you will return. My grandfather came to Lebanon, and as he was in his bed dying he kept saying ‘’Palestine, I want to go back, I want to go back’’. He died saying these words. He never forgot, he really loved his country. He reminded us of that every day. There is no way I will now forget. People live in their homeland, but our homeland lives in us.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh?
Some people here, some old people, see the youth as the future. Others see them as young, you know; go and get me this, go and finish school, after school do this and do that. But some see us as the future, a good future. It’s not easy to forget about your responsibilities, some get money from their parents and that is that. I am really interested in some sports and hobbies, but I don’t have time to pursue these. I’m sure I could be good if I tried, but right now there’s no time.
What will your future home look like?
Now I’m 17, and my first and last dream is to live with my family and to have work. Palestinians are deprived of the right to work 70 different jobs. Everybody here in the camp wants to live a full life, with dignity. The Lebanese authorities are not fair with us, that is the truth. We are trying to get our freedom here, although this makes us a people think we forget Palestine. But even the young people traveling to European countries are still holding on to the Palestinian cause. I know many who have travelled to Europe, 15 men close to where I live. I also have relatives who have travelled, and created homes in Europe. My plan for the future is to get good marks and travel to study. I want to major in petrol engineering, and I’m not allowed to study it here, and that is what I love. I want to stay somewhere I have family, so that if I need help or anything, I have them close by. I have half of my family in London now.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change?
It will. Nowadays it’s getting worse, but in the future it will be better, I am sure. A lot of people with open minds, strong feelings and willpower to return to our homeland are growing up now. Many towns and cities are working on the issue, to make a change. The time to be silent is over. 70 years is a long time, but it’s our right to return, no one can take that away from us. Of course change doesn’t come easy, 70 years of zionist activities will not be reversed easily, many died and many were injured, and a lot of land was stolen. It will not be easy, so we have to be stronger.
What does the word home mean to you?
It’s the place where you were raised, where you learn about life, and where you feel respect and love. My home in Rashedieh is beautiful, it’s nice and I like it. But it’s not everything I want, and I feel that if I travel to another country I might find these opportunities I can’t find here. I want to live anywhere but here in Lebanon.
How would you describe life in the camp?
We live here, but we have no rights. What makes it more nice is that you have your family and you friends and relatives. Other than that, we are trapped. Specially girls, who are considered different than the boys. There are many jobs we are not allowed like the men are, and also the salaries for men are higher. Also the idea that the brothers should control the sister, what she wears and what she does, contributes to these issues. Guys can be outside until it’s late, and stay out for many hours, but girls have to be home before it’s dark.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you?
A refugee is someone who left their country against their will, because someone forced them to leave. Some think it’s a sad word to use about someone, like it makes me upset.
What will your future home look like?
In the future I will be an independent woman, who can do things by myself, and who doesn’t need a man to help me. I want to work with something related to the government, like law or something. As a Palestinian my ambitions and options are limited, because I can’t work in the government here in Lebanon. I feel like I can’t work in the field that I want, and I feel trapped.
I want my house to be big, and I want a garden. I want something that is comfortable to look at, not like here in Rashedieh. That’s important. In the future, if I have a house, I want to have my own traditions and my own habits. I was raised on traditions I don’t like, so when I raise my own children I will do it differently. I want another life, and I want to live it the way that I want. The traditions I was raised in makes me feel trapped in thing I don’t like. Like the society here, there is a lot of sexism, the society considers the boy to be the better one. I want to change this. Boys can do whatever they want, they are allowed to, but the girls are not. I think boys and girls should be raised in the same way, with the same values, even though the religion says they are equals, the traditions get it wrong.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change?
Not in Lebanon, because it’s the same people who are leading the country, and they are not changing. These are the same people who will stop us from having our rights fulfilled, it’s all the same thing. The Israelis are controlling everything, and nothing will change.
What does the word home mean to you? I guess the way we define our home differs from one another. Home isn’t just a house, home is the place where we feel safe, love and peace. Home can be a person, like my mom, dad and my siblings. They make my house a better place, a place to feel all the beautiful emotions. Home is the shelter for the childhood memories, that we hold on to because we think they matter to us. My home in general is a very nice place, because I always feel blessed to have a good family and house to live in. Also that I have food to eat, despite of all the hard stuff I might face as a Palestinian in the camp. I feel comfortable whenever I am by the checkpoint, because I know I am going to my home, the place I was raised in and will always feel loved in no matter what.
How would you describe life in the camp? There’s two aspects of living a camp. The first is when you see it as your only place, the place you got all the good and bad memories, where you got all the people you love living so close to you. The other is the hidden life of the camp, where it’s full of checkpoints, guns, drugs and violence. Full of dark shadows who is ready to sacrifice you. You as a foreigner, your first day in the camp you’ll have the impression that it’s a simple village with very nice people and much hospitality. But in the next days you will notice it’s much more than that, it’s the prison that traps refugees inside it, giving them all the bad stuff they can use, and then punishing them for using it. You will see poverty, illiteracy, bad infrastructure, difficult winters, lack of medications, also due to the financial cuts in UNWRA*, and many other tings, too many to name. About my life in the camp, the camp is my only home. I don’t like that we keep struggling to find opportunities in here, but I feel that whenever I leave, I don’t have the same feelings as I do when I am here; that I’m safe and fine.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? I think the word means a lot. A refugee is a person who is not in his country, but he’s not called a foreigner. It’s a person who has almost nothing, not even his land. I think the word is a word that doesn’t define any of us. A refugee is someone who left their country asking for safety somewhere else. For me, it’s not a sad word, because we are refugees and we are seeking a safe and warm place. But sometimes it’s humiliating when people who aren’t refugees, or Palestinians, say it in front of you. Or when foreigners know that you are a refugee living in a camp, and want to visit you to see what it looks like.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? Since the Israelis think that the old Palestinians will die, and the young forget, it’s my duty as a young Palestinian refugee to not forget my land, and keep holding on to what is mine. As a young girl in Rashedieh camp, I think we are strong and capable to do anything, that’s why we should always do as much as we can to help free Palestine. It is sad to see many conflicts and wars happening in Palestine, you feel helpless. We need to fight for our right to return. Sad endings are just stories that’s not finished yet.
What will your future home look like? It’s hard to know what is hidden for us in the future, but I’ve always imagined myself living in the same home I had in my childhood days until today, but with better circumstances. My family’s goal is to travel, to give us a better life, but maybe that is not the best decision because our home in the future might be different from the home we have today. I dream about better life conditions, and I want my parents to stay by my side because they give me strength and power. My siblings too. I want to share everything with them. I wish that we stay together as one family, living a peaceful life, and that we don’t worry about anything because we have everything. I don’t wish for a perfect job, or a perfect house or a perfect partner, but maybe just good in each.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? It will change, maybe if there was more cooperation between the parties, and putting an end to this political split that is making us more separated day by day. The problem of our current situation is that Palestinians always have blamed arabs for our problems. Maybe they didn’t do anything to help, but we can make a change if we can be one hand against the enemy.
*UNWRA The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
What does the word home mean to you? My home is my homeland, an area we were connected to long before we were born. And we will return, even after 1000 years had passed by, because it is our right, as humans, to have a homeland. Living here is not as comfortable as living in our homeland, that they stole from us.
How would you describe life in the camp? It’s not good, too much drugs, and too many bad people. Because Palestinians are prevented from working, many turn to selling drugs to get money. So the Lebanese government has the responsibility, for not letting us work.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? Refugee is a word that holds power, and determination. To be a refugee you have to be more powerful than any other person, because you are living in a country that is not your homeland, and the people you are living with does not share your nationality. You don’t know anyone outside your family. Because of that, being a refugee is hard, and so you need power and patience.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? To be a youth in the camp is a good thing, we are understanding things that many people don’t understand. Being a refugee is a thing that the Palestinians and Syrians know about. On the other side it’s bad, because we aren’t getting our rights as youths, and as Palestinians. There are so many things that we can’t study in university, and so many jobs we can’t have, like the Lebanese. We are a special case. Being between the ages of 15 and 18 is the most dangerous, that is when all the bad thing can get to you, like drugs, alcohol, girls. And as youths like to try everything, some may continue with this to the end, without knowing the right way.
What will your future home look like? I hope to have an independent house, not an apartment in a building. It will be humble and small, but allow me and my family to live comfortably, surrounded by green, trees and roses. And fresh air!
I dream of being a business manager, and to travel to France to work there. My father has promised to help me, if I finish university. I want to live a simple life with my family, for our life to be comfortable. My father is currently working in Africa, and has several projects with different French companies, which I can join later if successful.
What does the word home mean to you? A home is the place where I feel safe, where I have my roots, and where I can close my eyes. It’s my family and my relatives, the smile of an old woman and the smile of a small child; it’s the peace.
How would you describe life in the camp? My life in the camp is very difficult. We suffer from a lack of services, less rights and discrimination because we are refugees. A man could die because he has no money to enter the hospital for treatment. Everyone who lives far from their homeland is a stranger amongst others.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? Being a refugee means to be deprives from working in 70 different jobs. It means to have a lower salary than others, to have to pass a checkpoint every time you leave and enter the camp, and it means to always be discriminated.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? To be young in the camp is to try to live your age, and experience everything, but also to volunteer or even work in order to help your family. You need to cover the expenses of your education, and other services. Every young person has a dream, but as refugees we try to do what we can with our limited options, because of our situation.
What will your future home look like? My home in the future will be a simple home, where I live peacefully with my husband and two kids, near my family. I dream to have a small garden in front of it, full of flowers and some small trees.
A dream of my life is to graduate from university, marry the love of my life, and live with him and my children. I want to learn how to drive, and own my own car. I also with to visit countries around the world, as many as i can.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? I believe that the situation for the Palestinians will get better, because it’s a promise from our God. And if doesn’t, it’s not the end yet. We have to have our hope, that we will return to our homeland and live peacefully there.
What does the word home mean to you? Home is my safe place, a good blessing from God, it’s my resting place, where I feel relaxed, and it’s my homeland - to where I will return.
How would you describe life in the camp? Our life in the camp is a beautiful life, full of love and people who wants to help each other. Be we are prevented from having many of our rights, and we live in unsafe places because of weapons, and in the end we stay refugees deprived from simple rights.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? ‘Refugee’ is a simple, small word, with a deep meaning. A refugee is a person facing many difficulties and a person who feels as a stranger in between all people. All of this teaches a person patience, to reach the goals of anything he wants.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? To be young is to protect myself from bad things, and to spread peace amongst people.
What will your future home look like? I think that my home in the future will be beautiful, more than now. It will be in the middle of an island, surrounded by many trees and isolated from other houses. Just me and my family! In the morning I can watch the sun set behind the mountains, to the sound of birds. It will have a beautiful view that I can wake up to, and that will be my sunny day!
My dream is to return to my homeland Palestine, and to be a professional person in my field and society. I want to leave a good mark in peoples hearts, and travel the world with my future husband.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? Everything in the world changes, maybe it takes time, but in the end it will change. If a person has a dream, he can change something. We will return to Palestine anyway, because it is the promise of God.
What does the word home mean to you? The home, or the house, is the place a person looks to as a refuge for him and his family members, and all the people living with him. A home is a connection more than it is a building of rocks.
How would you describe life in the camp? It’s a simple life, in spite of the difficulties we always try to stand up and make new decisions, and we always have hope.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? It means a lot, like being deprived of your rights, deprived of your identity, and a homeland. This a few amongst many other sadnesses.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? It’s an unstable life, deprived of freedom, and in spite of all this I try to make my mark.
What will your future home look like? A house big enough to unite me and the people I love. A humble house surrounded by trees, roses and near the sea.
I wish in the future there is more peace, and that I can see and visit Palestine. I wish that everyone I know and love is besides me.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? It will get worse, because we as Palestinians living in Lebanon have no rights. We don’t get to have opinions on what goes on in Lebanon, so it will get worse.
What does the word home mean to you? Home is where my parents are, Palestine, Syria. I came here six years ago from Yarmouk (refugee camp in Syria). Yarmouk was better, and Yarmouk is my home. I like it a lot, it was the place I was raised, and it was the best place for me. The houses there were bigger and nicer then, and all of my family was there. I only have one brother, he is here with me now. In Yarmouk I had my grandmother, my aunts and everyone. Now it’s only me, my brother and my parents. We left after our house was it by rockets from an airplane. We were inside the house when it happened, and I can’t describe the feeling. Four houses were hit.
How would you describe life in the camp? It’s nice here, but people keep too much to their own. In Syria Eid (religious holiday) was for everyone, and everyone was together. There were no poor and no rich. Here each is with their own. There is racism in Rashedieh, towards Syrians. Palestinians are also racist towards each other, imagine what it’s like for Syrians. In Syrian no one said ‘these are Syrians and these are Palestinians’. But here you are labelled. In Syria christians and muslims lived side by side, here in Lebanon there are different streets for each. They are all racist towards Syrians. The worst thing I know is when people talk about ‘’them’’. They say the UNWRA* gives us everything, and that Syrians get all the money from UNRWA. But we need it for paying our rent, and the people who say this already have their own houses. My father has issues with his heart, and his liver. My mother is not stable, she has psychological issues. My brother also, after the war. He has seizures when he hears sounds, like shooting. Fatah (Palestinian political party) wanted to help us, but they didn’t pay for the whole treatment, and we can’t afford it. Every time my father comes home from work he is very tired, because he is very sick. He says he isn’t, but that is because he needs the money so he can take care of his family. The doctor told him that heart only works 35% and that’s why his liver gets bad, so he suffers more. I wan’t to help him, but I don’t know how.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? A refugee is a person who doesn’t have anything, a devastated person.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? I hate that there is so much racism here, but I love that I have a house here. If I can’t go to Syria, I want to go to Denmark. I’ve seen pictures, and I like it, although I don’t know anyone there.
What will your future home look like? I like my house in Yarmouk. I want to go back there, but how can I when the house is gone. Even though I am both Palestinian and Syrian, I want to go back there.
I want to become a psychologist, or an interior designer or graphic designer maybe, or a painter, like my father. If I become a psychologist, it would be to help and heal those who went through war.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? It might change if all Palestinians come together. It’s a problem that people are with different parties and live in different places.
What does the word home mean to you? It’s the shelter that protects you, and the way we live is good. But there is no work. Right now I’m studying, and I’m currently in grade 9, but when I finish there will be no work for me. I know many people who can’t find work.
How would you describe life in the camp? There is no love in the camp. People kill each other for no reason. And even if people had a reason, the reason would be simple and stupid.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? It’s a very harsh word. Like you have nothing, no country, and not the same life as the Lebanese. When you are labelled a refugee, you don’t have your dignity. It’s psychological, I feel annoyed, but I don’t show it. You can’t escape it. I love it here, but I want to live in my country.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? As a young man living in Rashedieh I want to be a good example for the younger kids, and teach them to love each other.
What will your future home look like? I would like it to be similar to the way it is now, but have everything I need available in my home. I want to stay, and live here, in Rashedieh! I want to live the life I love, full of people I love. I want to be comfortable. I would like to work with electronics, or IT, both computers and phones.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? Where there is cooperation, both amongst arabs and Palestinians, things can change.
What does the word home mean to you? Home is everything. You eat here, you drink here, you sleep here, and your family is here. It’s nice, but Rashedieh is full of problems. But I got used to it.
How would you describe life in the camp? It’s awful. If someone else tried living this life they wouldn’t be able to. We are used to it though. The conflicts, not being able to find work. Nobody loves the Palestinians, or takes care of them. It isn’t comfortable in the camp, no place to go for walks, and the checkpoints makes it feel like a prison. I hope it gets better.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? When someone says it, I remember that we left Palestine, and that we don’t have it anymore. And that we are not loved here. That is very upsetting, I already know that I’m a refugee, but I don’t why it has to be like this. You can’t get citizenship in Lebanon, we don’t really even want it. But it would make so that we get our rights fulfilled. Also, we wouldn’t have to deal with the checkpoints everywhere. They are there so the Palestinians can’t go where we want. Like in Naqoura (southern part of Lebanon, bordering Palestine/Israel), so we can’t see and be close to Palestine.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? As a young man I’m used to the life in the camp, the terrible things here are normal to me now. I’m always bored.
What will your future home look like? I imagine living either in the same house I live in now, or traveling. To any other country than Lebanon. I don’t care about the house, as long as it’s a normal house.
I want to have a comfortable house with people I love living with me. I currently work in construction, it’s not my dream job, but it’s my job. I will keep it, because I studied it. I never thought about what my dream job would be. Maybe I would become a businessman.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? Maybe. It always changes in some ways, sometimes they all agree, sometimes they don’t. It’s never stable, so you never know.
What does the word home mean to you? A home is where I am safe and secure. It’s the place you can resort to for comfort and love. It’s not restricted to a place, it can also be a person. My home is my family, where we are bound by love and respect.
How would you describe life in the camp? It’s good. People are very kind and supportive in both good and bad times. The only bad thing is the strict laws against us. Other than that it’s fine.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? I have mixed feelings about it. It all the time reminds me of how special and different I am, and also about my Palestinian identity. At the same time it reminds me of the discrimination and hatred we go through worldwide.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? Being young here is difficult, not because we are growing up in Rashedieh, but because you are growing up in a camp in Lebanon. You, like your peers, have so many dreams like any other person your age in the world. We study and go to university, and volunteer and do community work. On the other had we end up facing unemployment and poverty.
What will your future home look like? My future home would be something simple and cozy. A home in the village or the mountains, away from the noise and urban life. I wish I could go back to my homeland, Palestine, with my family of course. I deserve to live in my home, in Palestine, not here. We all do, as Palestinians.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? Of course it will, but I can’t be too optimistic with all of the tings we hear and go through. Palestinians are the time going through marginalization and discrimination, especially here in Lebanon. Basic civilian rights are a dream for us, and I was born here and my parents also. But by law we are not Lebanese citizens, and to add more we are not allowed to practice many professions like medicine and pharmaceuticals. Also Trumps decisions don’t indicate a bright future. A few days ago Israel attacked Gaza and besieged it, and there was almost no coverage of that.
What does the word home mean to you? A home is where people live as a family, where there is love, rest is found, and all members try to find a solution if anyone in the family has a problem.
How would you describe life in the camp? Life in camps is like a prison, we can live with each other but there are so many rules that doesn’t give us the right to work, navigate freely, and which always exploits us because we are refugees.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? Refugees are being deprived of all the rights of life, and working freely in any field you want. Life in the camps is simple, because there is love and we help each other. But without any rights, if you face any disease, there is no help financially and you pay for everything in the hospital. Now, the number of deaths is increasing.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? I am, as a youth, deprived of freedom. There is no freedom of movement, and I am being deprived from working in my favorite field. And also to play my favorite sport in another country.
What will your future home look like? I want to travel to London to live with my brothers and sisters, they are live there. I want to return to being a complete family, uniting is what we wish for, as soon as possible. The shape and look of the house doesn’t matter where we are together. Other than uniting my complete family, and to find a job; I want to be a teacher in math, I wish to play basketball on the international Lebanese team, and to be in the international union of Palestinians basketball players.
What does the word home mean to you? It is a safe place where I belong. It is my homeland; Palestine.
How would you describe life in the camp? We are deprived of many of our rights, and as humans there is no life without our homeland in the end.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? A person who is forced to be far from his homeland, forced to live outside it, and facing many difficulties daily.
What is it like being young in Rashedieh? I want a normal life, my aim is to finish school and graduate, and to be successful. I want to take caution, and learn from all the bad things that happens with young people like me.
What will your future home look like? My home would be in Palestine, surrounded by olive trees, flowers, love, safety. And everything would be beautiful.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? Everything will change for the better, since the Palestinian people fight and never surrenders, like it has been for the past 70 years. The number of deaths can't increase, without there being a positive effect.
What does the word home mean to you? The Palestinian homes in the past were very simple, and humble. They were built with dignity and love, and that is why we are holding dear to our homes in Palestine.
How would you describe life in the camp? In spite of the difficulties we face in our camp, we still have smiles on our faces. We change our fate by our hands, and still have hope.
What do you think about the word refugee? What does it mean to you? It’s a difficult word we hold with our names. A refugee is a person who has to escape from everything that gives him residence in his homeland.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? I think that the situation will change for the better, better than today. Maybe the European countries will care about our right to return to our land.
What does the word home mean to you? It’s a place where me and my parents live. It is safe, and full of love.
How would you describe life in the camp? Our life in the camp is full of fear, problems, death, pollution, weapons, and many people sell drugs to the youths to damage their lives. There is no government to find solutions for these problems. In addition we don’t get all of our rights.
What will your future home look like? I want to live in a big home with my husband in Palestine. My dream is to be a famous actor, and work with Ziad Bourji (a Lebanese actor and singer).
What will your future look like? I wish to fulfil my dream of becoming a professional photographer, and go international. I would like to go to Italy, because I think the Italian government cares what the people think. And I like pasta.
Do you think the situation for Palestinians will change? We will remain where we are. Like we have for the past 70 years. It will only change in looks, and the people living here in the camp.