By: Hussein El-Hajj

Hussein El-Hajj tells of how getting to work is impossible because of the destruction of the roads. Those who can’t work are welcoming and accommodating refugees from South Lebanon.

We are the youth who have gone through the greatest hardships and calamities because of wars, massacres, destruction and displacement caused by the Israeli war and occupation of the south using tanks, jets and bombs, all American-made and which destroy our dreams. Palestinian youth are like all youth in this world, they are eager and willing to live in accordance with the progress and achievements of the 21st century, with all the promise they have for human interests. But, we live today in situation of worry and waiting for what tomorrow may bring on the political, economical and social fronts. Today, after 3 weeks of war, Israel has destroyed all means of transportation, bridges and roads in this country, those connections which we use to go to other places to work – me and every one else, people who work in Beirut and other areas of Lebanon. Now we are all cut off and it’s impossible to go anywhere. Because of this, we lost our income that we depended upon for survival.

But today, I compensated this and decided to gain a moral income by volunteering in the provision of services for the displaced people coming to Ain El-Helweh camp from South Lebanon. I became a member of the reception committee whose task it is to welcome displaced families and find ways to provide for their needs. In this way, we can present a different picture of the Palestinian people, showing their values and manners, especially the youth involved in this process. We can show that we are not what the propaganda and stereotypes represent us to be every time that the Palestinian refugee camps are mentioned and described as islands of unrest, tension and crime. We want to say that we are a struggling people whose only hope is to have a homeland under the sun and live in dignity, we and our children, as do all the youth in this world.

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