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Syrian refugees in Lebanon face insurmountable hardship ranging from provision of basic needs to being socially stigmatized. Lack of work, access to education, dependence on aid and basic resources, mental health issues involving trauma and depression, child welfare and employment, and an increase in child marriage and prostitution within the communities are all issues that surround the fate of Syria’s refugees.

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 Our collection on Zionism, Israel, and Anti-Zionism

A collection of definitions of Zionism

Palestinian refugees are a textbook case of refugee labelling. The “Palestinian refugee” thus emerged when charity organizations and the United Nations began to assist those who registered as refugees after their flight in 1948. By registering with the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), people in Dheishe obtained ration cards, which proved that they were Palestinian refugees From the start, the lost village was used as a social unit for organizing and distributing relief and the village headmen served as intermediaries with aid organizations. The UNRWA inherited refugee lists compiled by agencies already in the field and then carried out investigations to determine who was in need of relief. In this process, there was also a restriction of access to rights; for instance, each refugee was allowed a certain amount of aid. There seems to have been an ongoing negotiation of trust concerning rations between relief workers and refugees, which was informed by power imbalances in aid provisions. Elderly refugees recounted their doubts that everyone had been treated equally, and relief workers seemed to have doubted that people were sincere about the numbers of family members and villagers. Dheishean women and children were sent out to collect rations since accepting relief was considered shameful for adult men. Palestinian refugees are still ambivalent about accepting aid since the shame of dependency is mixed with needs and rights as victims of expulsion and ongoing hostilities.

Rami AbdulRaheem, for 13/4/2007

This essay builds on a one-year ethnographic fieldwork that was carried out in Dheishe in 2003 and 2004. This refugee camp is the largest out of three in the Bethlehem area, both in terms of geography and population. It is situated on a hillside and is about half a square kilometer in size. Dheishe houses some 9,000 registered refugees; most of the refugees did not experience flight personally, but are the descendents of the destitute Muslim peasants who lost their homes and lands in the war over Palestine between Jewish and Arab forces in 1948. They originate from more than 40 different villages south of Jerusalem. Some of the lost villages are only kilometers away from the camp, inside today’s Israel.

Addario, Lynsey.  The New York Times Retrieved from New York Times website

The True Identity of the So-called Palestinians

The Palestinian refugees in Lebanon mostly live in one of 12 refugee camps. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon face many problems. They are not allowed government jobs. They do not have social or civil rights, and they have very limited access to the government's public health and educational facilities. Palestinian refuges in Lebanon are denied access to public social services. The majority rely entirely on UNRWA as the sole provider of education, health and relief and social services. Considered as foreigners, Palestinian refugees are prohibited by law from working in over 70 trades and professions.

UNRWA: Lebanon (2014) . Retrieved from UNRWA website

Rami AbdulRaheemPalestinian RefugeeBorj Al Barajneh Camp, Lebanon

Palestinian refugees who move to the West Bank and Gaza Strip are granted Palestinian citizenship and are treated equally with those Palestinians who were living there before the 1967 war (when this area passed from Jordanian control to Israeli Control before coming under the Palestinian Authority when it was created).

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Palestinian refugees in the Gulf emigrated immigrated there more recently, most in the 1960s, in search of work. They were relatively wealthy, but their position was considerably weakened by the Gulf War.

Palestinian right of return - Wikipedia

Having lived in Borj AL Barajeneh refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon most of my life, I want to explain what the Palestinian refugees who live there want, though this may be particular to us, I can’t speak for those living else where under different conditions. From my experience of life as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon and the demands placed on the refugees in Lebanon, I can say that in contradiction to the Arab media’s propaganda, the majority of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon would prefer to live in the West (e.g. Europe, USA, or Canada) if they get that opportunity. Most of my friends have immigrated to the West and others are desperate to make their way to Europe and Canada. Hundreds of Palestinian have paid thousands of American dollars to agents in order to find way of getting them in to Europe.