Photo Essay

In Order Not To Forget


"In 1982 the israeli forces ripped open my heavily pregnant sister's stomach, killed her baby then slit her throat. I was ten, my brother was four. It all happened in front of our eyes. How do you want us to forget? For every killed child ten will be born" said Nawal one of the survivors of the israeli massacre in Shatila camp.

Here are ten Palestinian children.

It's the 4th of July. While some nations were celebrating their independence, my Irish friend and I reached the entrance of the Mar Elias Camp. We waited in the blistering sun for Mohammad to pick us up. With the political tension in Lebanon, walking into a Palestinian Camp on your own would not be the wisest thing to do. Mohammad is a member of the Democratic Front and the head of the Palestinian Democratic Youth Union.

Our what-was-to-be a long day started in one of the shabby offices of the Democratic Front. We were welcomed with refreshing Mango juice and pictures of Nayif Hawatmi Lenin and Che Guevara.

Mohammad told us the story of the camp.

" Mar Elias Camp was established in 1952 to accommodate the Palestinian refugees fleeing Palestine after the attacks of the israeli's haganah gangs. The land was given by the Greek Orthodox Church. The camp consisted mainly of Palestinian Christians. And as in all camps the distance separating the people from their land is marked on the entrance of each camp. Mar Elias is 93 Km away from the Palestinian borders."

"Where are you from?" I asked the little girl.

"Haifa" she answered, though the ice-cream in her hand and smudged on her face seems to be a greater concern. She looked away.

"Where is Haifa?" I insisted

"Libnan?" She hesitated

" Shame on you! Don't you know your country? It is in Palestine" her mother corrected her.

"Falasteen" she looked and me and smiled.

No one here is willing to forget. The history of Palestine is given with the mothers' milk and in each toy. In fairness to these, children they did the best they could out of the ordeal they were born into.

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—The JPG team

1 response

  • Natalie Franco

    Natalie Franco (Deleted) gave props (30 Nov 2008):

    A powerful story one that we rarely see coming from that region of the world, but the world needs more awareness on what is going on in Palestine. Heartbreaking !!!

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