- Posted February 15, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
Diversity of their opinions in Palestinian Refugee Camps
In Jordan, I visited some Palestinian refugee camps to understand its residences' stand point on Palestinian Issue which seems to be moving towards some progress. I had opportunities to talk with refugees in person and came to realize the diversity of their opinion.
I asked several Palestinians the following question “say your Palestinian nation were to be established, would you like to return to your motherland?”
To my surprise, unanimous answer of “off course”, which I had expected, was not the reality. It varied from person to person.
One Palestinian young guy replied, “Yes, we will return to our land as soon as possible, off course. And we’re going to retrieve our nation from them someday. Even if our generation couldn’t make it, we will make our son achieve it. If they couldn’t do, next generation would do instead of us. We will never surrender. Actually it’s written in our book [Quran].”
On the other hand, aother Palestinian, a father of four children, said “it’s not necessary.” He continued “Off course, it’s wonderful for us to achieve our own nation. We’ve dreamed of the independence from our grandparents’ generation. But actually, we were born in and raised here, same with our kids. Most of our generation hasn’t yet seen our land. We make a living here. Even if our nation was established, it would be hard for us to return. Rather, I am really happy being with my family and friends here now.”
As a matter of fact, the word “refugee camp” is associated with words like “pitiful”, “poor”, and “depressed”. But reality is that, although it absolutely depends on which camps they live in, Palestinians usually have their own houses, not tents. And there are suq [market] in which you can buy anything you need for a daily life. Children play with friends cheerfully all around the camp. In addition, UN aids provide them with free schoolings and medical services.
On the energetic suq located in the refugee camp, I met with Palestinian teenage workers selling vegetables who they said “ I am actually satisfied with my life here. Family, friends, housings, education, jobs and even medical services, everything you need is here. And, if you ask me, we are Palestinians no matter where we are. We are all brothers. All I want in this issue is right to choose unlike our past. People who wanna return, they should, but I think it’s not necessary for me.”
With time going by, there is something unchangeable but also something changeable. We must know who lives in the refugee camps. They are not “refugees”. They are people just like us who think of their lives seriously and individually.