Action & Activism

A voice of frustration and hope in Nahr al-Bared

NAHR AL-BARED (North Lebanon) (IPS) - The hip-hop beats ringing through the muddy, unlit streets of this burnt-out Palestinian refugee camp seem incongruous. But the rhymes are camp-grown — and courageous. Farhan Abu Siyam, 21, is Nahr al-Bared’s first and only rapper. Going by the name of MC Tamarrod, he grew up in the Palestinian refugee camps of Nahr al-Bared and Burj al-Barajne. 

Lebanon's politics of real estate

Nostalgia, insists architect and academic Rami Daher, is a legitimate feeling. While most individuals’ instinctive thoughts of the glories of Levantine architecture might run to ancient mosques, castles and palaces, Daher’s yearning is towards an era in living memory, and on a more everyday scale. Sarah Irving reports for Electronic Lebanon. 

Video: "Nahr al-Bared: Transitions"

More than a year after their homes were destroyed during the battle between the Lebanese army and the militant Islamist group Fatah al-Islam, the majority of the Palestinian refugees from the Nahr al-Bared camp in northern Lebanon find themselves in a difficult situation. Not able to return to their homes, stuck in pre-fabricated housing units and mostly unemployed, many feel frustrated and hopeless that things will improve. 

Video: "Nahr al-Bared, between past and present"

One year has passed since the first Palestinians were allowed to return to the outskirts of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, destroyed by the Lebanese army during three months of fighting in the summer of 2007 with Fatah al-Islam, a small Islamist militant group. This 16-minute film was produced in a small workshop in the camp. It deals with the current developments in Nahr al-Bared, focusing on economic aspects and on the reconstruction efforts. 

Video: Harvesting oranges in Burj al-Shemali

Early in the morning, between 5 and 6am, a wave of footsteps and whispering voices can be heard in the narrow alleys of the Burj al-Shemali refugee camp in southern Lebanon. It is in the darkness of the early morning hours that hundreds of Palestinian day laborers leave their homes, gather in the streets and head to work in the nearby fields and orchards. More than two-thirds of the camp’s labor force work at least part-time in agriculture. 

Palestinians in Lebanon seek right of return

TYRE, Lebanon, 25 January (TerraViva/IPS) - “We know when we start a campaign we work for an achievable goal,” declares Wafa Yassir, the energetic head of Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), which runs programs for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. “And we know the right of return is not an easy goal. It may not happen in our lifetime. But we have to keep this right for the coming generation, and after that. And one day we will get it because it’s our historic right and we won’t give it up.” 

Video: The looting of Nahr al-Bared camp

In May 2007 the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, home to around 40,000 Palestinian refugees, became the site of a three-month battle between the Lebanese army and the extremist group Fatah al-Islam that had established itself in the camp. All 40,000 of the camp’s refugees were displaced. From the official end of the fighting in early September until 10 October the camp has been exclusively under the control of the Lebanese army. This video documents some of the refugees returning to Nahr al-Bared and the abuses by the Lebanese army. 

Video: "Homeless in Shatila"

The anarchist film collective “a-films” presents a short video on refugees from the destroyed refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared who are stranded in Shatila Camp, Beirut. The conflict in Nahr al-Bared between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam militants left homeless tens of thousands of Palestinians. Under fire and assuming they could soon return to the camp after their flight, most of them didn’t taken any of their belongings with them. While Baddawi Camp near Trablous (Tripoli), northern Lebanon, is hosting the majority of those who fled, thousands of the camp’s residents are scattered all over other Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. 

Video: Nahr al-Bared refugees' joyless Ramadan

The anarchist video collective “a-films” presents a 20-minute film entitled “Tragedy Without Borders,” produced by refugees from the destroyed Nahr al-Bared Refugee Camp during a video-workshop held in Baddawi Refugee Camp near Trablous (Tripoli), northern Lebanon. For two weeks, a-films has trained a group of refugees in filmmaking. Thousands of families living in Nahr al-Bared were displaced during the Lebanese army’s summer-long siege on the camp, where a militant group called Fatah al-Islam had established itself. The camp was destroyed during the conflict. 

Radio Tadamon! reflects on Lebanon war

This special edition of Radio Tadamon!, a monthly hour-long radio program broadcasted in Montreal and uploaded to the Internet, focuses on commemorating the July 2006 Israeli military assault on Lebanon. The 34-day war left over 1,300 Lebanese civilians dead, large parts of the national infrastructure destroyed and southern Lebanon littered with over a million unexploded cluster bombs. The program features multiple testimonies and reflections on the 2006 war on Lebanon recorded at a Montreal community commemoration event that attracted hundreds of participants from the Montreal region.