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Life in a Palestinian Refugee Camp

Few people can imagine what life is like living in a refugee camp. Palestinians have been living as refugees in camps since 1948, when they were forced out of their homes by the new Jewish immigrants just arriving from mostly Europe, to create the new Jewish-only State of Israel. 80% of Palestinians are refugees, most in their own country.

Refugee Camp

It is a painful story, and quite difficult to comprehend, about how a people, feeling the need for a safe home from bigotry and hate, would attempt to create such a home by ethnically cleansing an entire population of indigenous people in an effort to clear the region for only themselves.

However horrific life has been for Palestinians since the creation of Israel, many have tried to make the best of their situation however humanly possible, because this is, in fact, their life.

One such project is the Ibdaa Cultural Center located at the Dheisheh Refugee Camp. Ibdaa means "to create something out of nothing." As is specified on their web site: the Ibdaa Cultural Center is a grassroots initiative of the Dheisheh Refugee Camp. Founded in 1995, Ibdaa serves over 1,200 children and young people annually through various programs, while providing job opportunities to over 25 families in the camp.

Ibdaa's mission is to provide an environment for the camp's children and young people to develop their abilities, creativity and leadership skills through social, cultural and educational activities not otherwise available.

Ibdaa strives to empower children and instill in them the confidence and strength necessary to face up to their difficult future, while educating the international community about the Palestinian refugee issue.

Refugee Camp

More information on Life in a Palestinian Refugee Camp can be found at the United Nations UNRWA Web Site.

Download FAQs on Palestinian Refugeees (88k pdf)

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