Lunch in the Palestinian refugee camps
A No-Go Lunch instead of a dinner.
You may ask yourself but why?
This is suppose to be a Dinner in the No-Gos.
Though we were told by our host its possible to have a dinner, but that its probably better to have a lunch as there is no electricity in the streets at night and even in the houses. So both Marco & I went on our journey to Burj el Brajne, one of the main big three Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Poor Marco was so sick that morning, lets just say he had spent most of the night and morning actually in the toilet and I was not sure if he would be able to make it, but he kept on insisting, as he stated I did not come all this way to miss it due to having a bad stomach. After the hustle and bustle of driving in Beirut city, going into areas that I had never driven to, we finally reached our destination. As I parked outside, i was not sure what to expect, I had parked into a tiny space that was surrounded by rubbish everywhere. We walked into the camp and there was such a serene and quite atmosphere, I almost felt like I was in the streets of Mykonos, people standing outside their shops, so welcoming, smiling, except the two and three storey buildings here were all surrounded by bullet hotels, there was some rubble on the streets and what was clear was the water and electricity wires everywhere.
We walked around and felt a sense of excitement, as we were not sure what to expect as though something was going to happen. What actually happened is that we reached the center to find a group of elderly men and woman sitting, talking, watching tv, exercising and its as though we were not in a refugee camp but in a movie. The manager of the center came out to welcome us with a big huge smile and then we felt what a wonderful experience this is going to be, after a few minutes though Marco immediately had to go into a room and just collapsed
The lunch was one extraordinary one, people had such humility, were so kind and what shocked me the most had such a hope that they will one day go back to their land. They expressed no hatred towards anybody and talked passionately about their history and what they had gone through. What was clear is how much they loved the host who as they described her was their father, mother, daughter, son and an angel and that her name of queen translation from arabic to english was not enough for what she has done for them. WE CONVERSED for a long time and I met a woman who has been living in that camp for 62 years. You will have to wait to watch our lunch to fully understand what i am trying to convey. When they asked if I would visit them again, I almost broke in tears of how as a Lebanese I had never visited them and how happy they were when i first walked in to know I am actually Lebanese and from Beirut, i felt it was my duty and my peoples duty to make sure that they at least have normal and human conditions, and my reply was that i promise you i will be visiting you more frequently every time I come back to Lebanon and that is a promise I intend to keep.