Nahr al-Bared

Nahr al-Bared reconstruction delays protested

Since the end of August, construction equipment in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, near the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, has stood unused after the Lebanese State Council granted a two month moratorium for the reconstruction of the camp. Nahr al-Bared, home to approximately 30,000 refugees, was destroyed during a three-month-long battle between the Lebanese army and the militant group Fatah al-Islam in the summer of 2007. Ray Smith reports for Electronic Lebanon. 

"It felt like a kind of resistance to celebrate"

Ahmed and Liliane Hassan, who are 25 and 17, were supposed to marry in August, but instead were driven from their homes in Nahr al-Bared camp, along with up to 40,000 other people, by 106 days of fighting between the Lebanese army and militant group Fatah al-Islam. They were among several thousand Palestinians allowed to return from 10 October, and soon after tied the knot. Ahmed explained: “When we celebrated our engagement during the 2006 July War, the Israelis bombed Abdeh, on the edge of Nahr al-Bared and we ended up in the shelters. Then the fighting delayed our wedding.” 

"Everything they couldn't take they destroyed"

“Don’t ask what they stole, ask what they left,” dryly jokes Khaled, a Palestinian refugee from Nahr al-Bared camp in northern Lebanon. It was evident from what remained of the crown molding along the ceiling that his three-story house was once grand. Now, only one year after the seven-year process of building the house was completed, the structure is largely destroyed and its contents looted. Maureen Clare Murphy reports from the devastated Nahr al-Bared refugee camp.