October 31, 2007

Nahr al-Bared: The Aftermath

When the fighting at Nahr al-Bared Refugee Camp in northern Lebanon ended, Abu Muqawama wondered how, exactly, the camp's residents would ever be able to re-build. Today's report in the Guardian does nothing to answer that question but paints a bleak picture of what remains for refugees. This blog and the internet don't really do the pictures justice, but you really need to look at the devastation in their special photo essay. The place really is, as this blog has earlier guessed, a "Stalingrad." In the paper version of the Guardian today, they ran a two-page spread of one photograph that was literally breath-taking. Not as breath-taking, though, as this heart-warming vignette:

Inside the few homes that escaped the fires, racist graffiti covered the walls, many signed by a group calling themselves Sons of the Army or by particular commando groups.

One read: "It's a sin for a Palestinian to live in a home, they should live in hovels with the other animals."

Classy. The Arab Nation at its finest. Angry Arab has posted pictures of this graffiti on his website if anyone's interested in the untranslated text.

Anyway, at the moment Abu Muqawama is working on an article arguing why, in the aftermath of Iraq, we can expect to see more bloodshed along the lines of Nahr al-Bared in Iraq's neighboring states.