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Yarmouk

  • New play brings tales from Palestine to the London stage

    A new one-man play, staged to mark the 69th anniversary of the Nakba and 50 years of occupation, brought Gaza, Ramallah and Yarmouk refugee camp to the heart of London.  By Christa Blackmon A 12-year old boy escaping from Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus is left alone to sort out the quirks of his biology in an overcrowded raft headed for Europe. A vain yet independent girl struggles with her father's rules and her first taste of sexual love. A shallow 20-year-old taxi driver is desperate to get laid despite the watchful eye of Hamas. And a vibrant actor living…

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  • Syria, my love

    The Syria that was once an icon of enlightenment and education has been erased, crushed under barrel bombs and proxy power struggles, as the world watches and waits to see how it will all end. What, after all, have we learned from history?   Run, run away all you strong and invulnerable Israelis, and all you Palestinian freedom fighters pursuing liberation from the occupation, Jewish and Arab human rights activists, seekers of peace and fellowship between peoples. Let’s all run away from Aleppo, Idlib, Palmyra, Raqqa, Homs and all the Syrian cities that have been destroyed. [tmwinpost] Who needs to see more…

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  • 100 percent human: Five years without Juliano Mer-Khamis

    In a small cafe in Berlin, I found myself surrounded by Palestinian refugees from Yarmouk who knew and loved my friend Juliano — a man who was 100 percent Palestinian and 100 percent Jewish. By Udi Aloni When I landed in Berlin on April 4th, I realized that it was the first time since the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis that I wouldn't be holding a memorial service for him. I thought that I would buy a bottle of Black Label on the plane, Jul's favorite whiskey, and down it that same night with Mariam Abu Khaled, his wonderful student…

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  • Station to Station 2: The phantom line

    In a strange feat of partial resurrection, half of the railway between Haifa and Damascus is being fixed for reuse. Elisha Baskin's lens and Yuval Ben-Ami's pen follow it, focusing on the decaying and embalmed, rather than the freshly welded.   (for the full, four part project, click here) For the next leg of the journey, Elisha and I meet at a train station, a living one. We are hung up on ruins, but Israel also boasts railway infrastructure that is largely modern, functional, and topped with a bonus bit of irony: our red trains are the same used for local…

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  • UNRWA funding crisis puts 500k Palestinian children at risk

    A budget deficit of $101 million threatens to delay the start of the academic year in UNRWA schools. At a time of rising extremism, such an outcome could have consequences for states across the Middle East, the agency says. UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, is facing a budget deficit of $101 million for the coming year, the agency says. The shortfall threatens to delay the start of the academic year for UNRWA-run schools. At risk, too, are psychosocial support programs that are administered within UNRWA schools (those offered in health centers will continue to run). The scale…

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  • Lifelong refugees: Palestinian boat people search for a new home

    After escaping the horrors of the Syrian Civil War by boat, a group of Palestinian refugees washed up on the shores of Greece. Now they are wandering the streets of Athens without food or shelter. After four days at sea, with no food or fuel, 175 Palestinian refugees were rescued by the Greek navy. After fleeing the horrors of war in Syria for neighboring Turkey and paying huge sums to their smugglers, who promised to bring them to Italy (not to mention ensure they had entry permits, as well as food and drink), the refugees found themselves living in the…

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  • Finding my family in Yarmouk — then losing them again

    Six decades after the Nakba forced us into different corners of the world, social networks allowed us to reconnect with our families and villages. In Yarmouk, I found the people I should have grown up around—the ones who looked like me and my immediate family. And then war broke out in Syria, Facebook went dark and people disappeared, once again.  Those who do not have family members in Syria's refugee camps can watch the atrocities taking place on the news from far away, as if it were all just one big Hollywood horror movie: one that causes deep anguish for…

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  • If only there was oil under Yarmouk

    As Palestinians are being murdered and starving to death in the refugee camp near Damascus, the Arab world is busy intervening in Yemen, the Palestinian Authority is silent, and Israeli television is talking about where to eat during the Passover holiday. Monday morning, on the morning show on Israel’s Channel 10, which was co-hosted by the station’s military correspondent because the regular hosts are on vacation, they were supposedly discussing recommendations for the Israeli holiday traveler. After describing Israelis on vacation as ugly and litterers and more, the hosts recommended places to see and good places to eat. [tmwinpost] As…

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  • Don't cry for me: A letter from a little girl in Gaza

    With Palestinian children in Gaza bearing the brunt of Israel's offensive on the Strip, this is what one little girl may have written to us – had she the chance. By Sam Bahour As the latest horrific obscenity of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip continues, the death toll mounts. Palestinian children are paying the highest price, both those who are killed and wounded, and, maybe even more so, those who survive. Since I have written for decades about how Israel’s prolonged military occupation and endless violations of international law – let alone its blatant disregard for its very own…

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  • PHOTOS: Devastation in Damascus Palestinian refugee camp

    After months under siege, humanitarian aid finally reached the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in war-torn Damascus this week. UNRWA on Wednesday released photos of the camp, showing the devastation and desperation that has taken hold there after years of civil war and months under siege. "It is impossible not to be touched by the apocalyptic scenes emerging from the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus, besieged and cut off for months," said UNRWA Spokesman Chris Gunness. Late last year, +972 reported on the siege and starvation in and around Yarmouk. Read more here.   Related: After chemical attack, Damascus…

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  • Israel, the Jews and Syria: A moral imperative

    The Jewish state has always relied on its 'schnorr' abilities in order to raise funds from Jewish communities throughout the world. Israel should now use these abilities in order to establish an international Jewish appeal for Syrian refugees. By Ilan Manor Conventional Israeli wisdom has it that the world has lost interest in Syria and its ongoing civil war. This belief was best exemplified last week by Israel's Channel 10 whose news department aired a newscast dealing with the chaos in Syria. The news segment, prepared by Arab affairs correspondent Zvi Yehezkeli, delivered a simple message - the world has…

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  • After chemical attack, Damascus suburbs face starvation

    Since the beginning of 2013, Assad's forces have laid siege on the suburbs of the capital known as Ghouta, which was the target of a chemical weapons attack earlier this summer. Regime forces are stopping food and other goods from coming in and as winter approaches, activists are warning that the situation is about to get even worse. By Elizabeth Tsurkov The chemical weapons attack on the eastern and southern outskirts of Damascus (collectively known as Ghouta) have garnered a great deal of international attention over the past month. While pundits and experts discussed the imminent American-led strike on regime…

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  • 30 Palestinians killed last week in Syria

    Five members of the same family were killed in Yarmouk, along with at least seven other people. Despite the bloodshed, Jordan continues to refuse to allow Palestinians among the Syrian refugees it accepts. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) issued a press release on Sunday expressing grave concern over the rising number of Palestinian casualties in the Syrian civil war. According to credible sources, an estimated total of 30 Palestinians were killed in the last week. Twelve of the casualties – including five members of the same family – were from…

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