Jackson Allers

Slingshot Hip Hop comes to Lebanon

“The moment I stepped into the camps here in Lebanon, I thought I was in Palestine,” Arab-American filmmaker Jackie Salloum said after a 6 August nighttime screening in the Shatila refugee camp of her documentary, Slingshot Hip Hop. “I hope people living in Beirut come to see the film,” Salloum said anxiously before a previous screening on 5 August in the Burj al-Barajne refugee camp. 

Refugee Resentment Simmers as Fighting Escalates

BADDAWI CAMP, Lebanon, Jun 4 (IPS) - Fighting escalated Sunday and Monday in Lebanon as the Sunni Islamic group Jund al-Asham attacked army positions outside Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp, Ain al-Hilweh, in the south. Meanwhile, the top Palestinian leadership in Lebanon says it cannot guarantee it can control the reaction of the more than 400,000 Palestinians living in the 12 official refugee camps throughout the country if the Lebanese army’s all-out assault on the besieged Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in the north causes a heavy civilian death toll. 

Reporting from the front: Interviews with PLO spokesman in Lebanon and PFLP official (Part 1)

“We were supportive of the Lebanese army because an illegitimate group was imposed on Nahr al-Bared and on the Lebanese sphere. It attacked the Lebanese army, which led to the murder of 30 soldiers. This necessitated a stand next to the Lebanese army because the honor of the Palestinian people is intertwined with that of the Lebanese.” Jackson Allers and Rasha Moumneh interview Hajj Rif’at, Director of Media for Fatah and the spokesperson for the PLO in Lebanon in the first of a two-part series. 

Reporting from the front: Interviews with PLO spokesman in Lebanon and PFLP official (Part 2)

“Honestly, the first day there was sympathy for the soldiers that were killed. But after the shelling started we felt that the targets were not Fatah al-Islam, but rather the Nahr al-Bared camp. … At the end of the day, there is a people that is being shelled and people are dying.” Jackson Allers and Rasha Moumneh interview PFLP official and Treasurer of the Committee for the Festival of Right of Return in the second of a two-part series. 

"They may accept us for a day or two but for how long?"

“We left yesterday. What can I say? The fighting wasn’t against Fateh al-Islam. The fighting was against our homes. Our homes were destroyed. If you were to go inside the camp, and see the camp for yourself, you would say the same. No homes [are] left. The homes on the extremity of the camp have all been destroyed. People left the extremity of the camp and went into the center of the camp, and the bombing followed them. We, in the center of the camp, received two bombs on our home. Our son was hit.” Rania Masri and Jackson Allers interview those who fled the siege on Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. 

30,000 Caught in Crossfire

BEIRUT, May 24 (IPS) - Palestinian factions inside Lebanon have been in a quandary as to how to assist the more than 30,000 residents of the densely populated Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon trapped after three days of fighting between Lebanese Army units and members of a Sunni Islamist group, Fatah al-Islam. Ashraf Abu-Khorj, a camp resident, spoke to IPS in the middle of the shelling on the second day of fighting. Khorj said that the situation was growing increasingly dire, as he and his neighbours felt that no one was acting to put an end to the situation peacefully. 

"The situation is very bad"

The following interview with Ashraf Abu Khorj, a youth organizer, was conducted on May 21 at around 3pm as the Lebanese Army was shelling the Nahr al Bared refugee camp: “The situation has calmed down now — from a half hour ago. For the past two days, and since 4 am this morning, there have been lots of attacks. Homes attacked. Homes burned. People injured. Children hit. Youth killed. The situation is very bad. No electricity for the past two days. There is no water. There is nothing. We don’t have a hospital in the camp.”