Follow the Women was founded in 2004, and this year 120 women from the United States, England, Iran, Italy, Jordan, China, Japan, Poland, Turkey, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, France, Germany, Belgium and Cyprus biked all over Lebanon visiting Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps, not-for-profit foundations, former prison camps, cafes, schools and even a micro-brewery and soap factory.
Category Archives: Lebanon
“We have a voice that has not been widely heard in North America and other western countries. Indeed, getting the visas for people with no citizenship of any kind was not easy”–Amena El-Ashkar
Duaa Ardat describes recent clashes in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, “News reports said a battle had broken out between the Fatah movement and a mysterious extremist named Bilal Badr and his followers. Many people were fleeing the camp under the hail of the shelling; others were stuck in their homes, afraid of being hit by random shots. The Lebanese media call Ein El-Helweh the “zone without laws,” but it is home to more than 100,000 people (about half of whom are Palestinian).”
In Lebanon, one of the countries that has been most burdened by the Syrian refugee crisis, public schools are strained to the limits. Schooldays operate on a two-shift schedule—the first half of the day is for Lebanese children (and some Syrians if space permits), and the second half is for Syrian children. Still, half of all Syrian refugee children in Lebanon don’t go to school at all.
Palestinians have lived in the refugee camps around Lebanon since the Nakba in 1948 when they were forcibly ejected from their homeland by Israel. Most of these Palestinians have never set foot in Palestine and are prevented from doing so by Israel. Only the oldest have any memory of their homeland. Celia Peterson interviewed Palestinians of various ages in Bourj El Barajneh camp in Beirut to see how they keep the memory of their homeland alive.