Burj al-Barajneh - Beirut, Lebanon
Giclée print on Hahnemühle photo rag paper
60 x 42 cm
5/5 edition (+ AP)
A young Palestinian girl named Lara sits on her parents couch in the refugee camp of Burj al Barajneh in the south of Beirut. I spent about 30 minutes with her family and they spoke of the difficulties they face living in the camp. Most pressing for the family was the need for affordable medical care as Lara's younger brother had recently injured his hand.
In a region now awash with refugees, predominately fleeing the Syrian conflict, the struggles of Palestinian refugees living outside of their family's traditional lands is becoming increasingly dire. Some Palestinian families have been made refugees for a second time by fleeing their camps in Syria such as Yarmouk near Damascus.
It is estimated that there are 260,000 to 280,000 Palestinian refugees currently living in Lebanon. The many of the family members of these refugees first fled to Lebanon in 1947/48 during the 'Nakba' after the formation of the state of Israel and the surrounding conflict forced them off their lands. More Palestinians fled to Lebanon as a result of the Six Day War in the 1967 which saw Israel occupy the West Bank. Palestinians found themselves involved in the Lebanese civil war from 1975 to 1990 and suffered heavily at the hands of Phalangist militias notably during the massacres in Sabra and Shatila.
Despite living their entire lives in Lebanon, the Palestinians there remain outsiders in the eyes of the Lebanese government who view any attempt to formally absorb them into society as threatening to the delicate ethnic (and political) balance of the country. As a result Palestinians, are afforded limited rights including restrictions on certain forms of employment.