Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann


Monday, July 28, 2008

Ramallah

There are two refugee camps within the radius of Ramallah. The first one shown here is Kalandia Camp. Established in 1949 on 353 dunums of land. One dunum is approximately 1,000 square meters or 10,767 square feet. Kalandia is in zone C, full Israeli control. There are three zones within the West Bank: zone A which is full Palestinian control, zone B which is Palestinian civil control and Israeli military control and zone C, full Israeli control.
Closures imposed on the West Bank have made the socio-economic conditions worsen. Unemployment is high and there is deterioration of the buildings. Camp residents run their own activities and UNRWA helps to sponsor a Women's Culture Center, Rehabilitation Center, Youth activities. There are several Palestinian NGO's active in the West Bank. UNWRA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Relief. UNWRA was set up in 1949 under the UN General Assembly resolution 302. Although UNWRA has scaled back its work it is still visible today. The population in Kalandia Camp is 10,759. Schools and summer camps for youth are active in the camp providing services. Girls learning the debka, a traditional Palestinian dance.
Basketball summer camp for girls.
A typical street in Kalandia.
School's out for summer! Children loved to have their photos taken.
Locally grown honey. Do you grow honey? Or keep bees??
Al Amari camp was started also in 1949 on 90 dunums of land. The refugees lived in tents for the first 8 years and then in 1957 the tents were replaced with cement block buildings. In 1995 it came under full Palestinian control-zone A.
Typical is the artwork graffiti spray painted on the walls. They often depict the Palestinian flag or faces. Here there are cartoon characters.
A typical street in Al Amari
This boy was painted up for the day. Here his is sipping fresh juice.
Electrical wiring up to code??? This young man was with our group as a representative of Al Amari. - He's working the beard!
After the camp visits we went to the tomb of Arafat. These are the two guards who were standing guard at the tomb. Like those guys at Arlington, they neither smiled nor talked nor moved.
I forget the name of these guys and the name of the drink that they sell. It's a sweetened cool drink.
The big square in Ramallah.

1 comment:

Dina said...

Very touching.