Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ghetto Ramallah



A few weeks after the bishops from Germany made statements comparing the pictures of Ghettoes, which they saw in Yad Vashem to the situation in Ramallah, I went there.
We were a group of 10 people, crossing into the Ramallah/ El Bira area in a rented Arabic taxi. We then went to the Headquarters of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Here we had a Smalltalk about the current problem in Palestine (evil Israel, evil Fence, evil Checkpoints). There we met up with a local photographer, who showed us around Ramallah and we ended up in an area, where the Presidential Guard, maid up mainly by former members of the Force 17, was securing a complex. We walked in and then found out, that this was the seat of the Palestinian Authority. There it is, the Mausoleum of Arafat. I took a picture of the place, with the flowers that Secretary General of the United Nations had placed there just a week earlier. We also asked a guard, if we can talk to the President, Abbas, but they told us, that he was not there at the moment, if we want to meet him we have to come back later! Then a walk through Downtown Ramallah, which looks pretty much exactly like downtown Jerusalem, fancy shops, restaurants, life, culture, but there a posters everywhere showing middle aged men running around and shooting with weapons. Unfortunately my Arabic is not so good, but I think I get the message. We had a very nice lunch at a local restaurant, excellent food, I really think about spending a few more days in Ramallah. This third world city is not so different then other places I have been to, and the food is guaranteed better then the breakfast served in the youth hostels in Paris! And we go on! The next activity on our site seeing tour is the refugee camp Amari. A professional tour guide takes us around. The camp is around one square kilometer in size, with a population of 8500 people. 65% of them are under the age of 16. Many workers refer to the camp as a children’s camp. The streets are narrow, unorganized and crowded with children. The houses build of concrete. The streets are clean. Our guide stops and asks me if I have ever seen something as awful as this. I tell him, that I have been to Malawi and have seen people living in houses made of cardboard, with no running water, no electricity and no sewer system. He shuts quiet for a second. The Refugee camp is run by the United Nations to be more specific the UNRWA. They take care of the administration, the healthcare and education as well as sewer systems. The inhabitants don’t pay tax, even though most of them work, they only need to cover electricity and water. Too much for some of them anyway, since many families have 10 children and more. Many families still believe that having a lot of children is going to guarantee their pension. The opposite is the case. Families with less children have a chance to pay for their children’s education, and thus they get better jobs, eventually making their way out of the poverty. I ask our guide, if the families can leave the camp? The inhabitants of the camps are full Palestinians, with a Palestinian passport and nationality. They can leave the camp, whenever they want, he says. But they don’t leave, they stay because they are refugees, evicted from their homes and land in Israel. If they stay in the camp they set a political sign, he says. If they leave the camp, what will become of their struggle.. I am looking at a four or five year old boy, playing soccer on a bumpy street. Somehow it does not go into my head, that this little boy wants to be a political activist. Was he ever asked if he wants to stay in a camp like this, for 60 years and wait for a return home to a land, which he has never seen in his life, and never will? I guess not!

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5 Comments:

Anonymous BigotsMustDie said...

> Was he ever asked if he wants to stay in a camp like this, for 60 years
> and wait for a return home to a land, which he has never seen in his
> life, and never will? I guess not!

I'd say, the zionist nation of beggars, thieves and murderers
didn't ask him.

Hoping you and your friends will be transferred to Malawi asap.

2:15 PM  
Blogger transceiver said...

Dear "bigotsmustdie",

I am sure the "zionist nation of beggars, etc." did not ask him, if he wants to live in this camp.

But you are missing a point there! Nothing would be better for those "zionists" then the Palestinians to move out of the refugee camps. Or do you think Israel is interested in having those refugee camps?

As for my transfer to Malawi: I have found the people of Malawi to be very warmhearted and friendly to foreigners visiting their country and hope to go back there some day.

4:21 AM  
Anonymous BigotsToMalawi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous IdrawESCAPEplans said...

ein "interessanter" text, der die künstlich aufrecht gehaltene situation der "flüchtlinge" zeigt.

derbe ...

liebe grüße
aus magdeburg

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Lothar Evers said...

Mir hat der Bericht sehr gefallen. Die Existenz von Flüchtlingslagern so viele Jahre danach ist ein Verbrechen mindestens an den jungen Generationen.
Mein Sohn hier in Köln ist jetzt 18. Man stelle sich vor, er sei in einem Flüchtlingslager der deutschen Vertriebenenorganisationen aufgewachsen, mit der heimlichen Lebensaufgabe, sich mit möglicht vielen Polen in der Heimatstatt seiner Grosseltern Wroclaw/Breslau in die Luft zu sprengen.
Schon klar was jetzt eingewendet wird:
völlig unvergleichbar, die agressiven Deutschen mit den geschlagenen Palestinensern.
Aber:
verlegen wir das Szenario an eine andere in Europa in den letzten hundert Jahren verschobene Grenze: Ukraine / Polen, Saarland / Frankreich, Südtirol / Italien. Nicht auszudenken, und, ich wiederhole mich,:
ein Verbrechen.
Lothar

8:50 AM  

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