News / Middle East

Palestinians from Syria Twice Displaced

Palestinians From Syria Twice Displacedi
|| 0:00:00
X
Margaret Besheer
August 27, 2012 1:53 PM
A half million Palestinian refugees are registered in Syria and slightly fewer in Lebanon. Most have remained in Syria, but with the escalation of fighting in and around their camps last month, hundreds of Palestinian families began seeking safer havens in neighboring Lebanon. As VOA's Margaret Besheer reports from Beirut, these Palestinians have now been twice displaced.

Palestinians From Syria Twice Displaced

Margaret Besheer
BEIRUT — A half million Palestinian refugees are registered in Syria and slightly fewer in Lebanon.  Most have remained in Syria, but with the escalation of fighting in and around their camps last month, hundreds of Palestinian families began seeking safer havens in neighboring Lebanon. 

Many of the Palestinian families who have come to Lebanon are staying in the Shatilla refugee camp.
 
Forty-year old Rajaa Hashem, is one of them.  She says she feared for the safety of her five children in Damascus. “After the war planes and the shelling and killing, I took my children and I came here," she said. "We could not bear this situation anymore.”

After her neighbor was killed in an explosion she decided it was time to go. “He was torn into pieces and died like the rest of the people.  Now, I don’t know, they say they have killed our neighbors and the cousins of my husband," she explained. "Some of them are injured and some others killed.”

Hoda Samra, the spokesperson in Lebanon for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, says more than 3,000 Palestinians from Syria have registered in Lebanon -- many since mid-July, when fighting escalated in their areas. “There might be higher numbers or people who have not approached UNRWA, but those who have approached us so far exceed three thousand persons,” she said.

Twenty-five-year-old Omar, who did not want his face shown, is among those who have registered with the U.N. “We are receiving a little bit of aid and that’s helping us; God helps,” he said.

UNRWA's Samra says it is very difficult for the displaced Palestinian refugees to find work, further complicating their situation. “So you can imagine what the situation is like for a person who is displaced from Syria and a refugee. So twice displaced, twice refugees, maybe. It's not easy,” Samra added.

Many of the new arrivals live in cramped quarters, with several families in one room. Ibtisam lives with nine relatives. “We are three families staying in one room," she explained. "What can we do? We escaped from the killing and shelling and now we are living like this.”
 
The Lebanese government has given the displaced refugees one-month resident visas.  But since no one knows how long the situation in Syria will continue, they worry their safe haven is only temporary.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid counter-terror intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid