By: Agnes Czajka

On Fridays, the UNRWA boys play sports. As most 14 and 15 years old boys, they wait with anticipation for these weekly games of basketball and football. The boys don’t seem to mind that both games must be played on the small, cement basketball court next to the UNRWA school. (Strategically placed garbage bins serve as football goalposts.)

This Friday, however, the excitement of basketball and football were superseded by another activity. This Friday, the boys were taking pictures of the camp for the newspaper that we have been working on for the past two weeks. The boys have been working on a newspaper that I will bring back to Canada. They have already written some of the articles. Of course, the sports section was the first one to be written, and it is already finished. There is also a section on Palestine, and soon, the section on education will also be completed. I instructed the boys to take pictures of the most important places in the camp. I told them that this was their opportunity to show Canadians what Wavel camp was like, and how the lives of their friends and families in the camp unfold. I handed them a disposable camera, and we were off. The boys wanted to take pictures of the mosque first, but the gates were closed, and they were not satisfied with the view afforded through the gate. Before I realised what was happening, they were knocking on the door of a house adjacent to the mosque, and we were climbing to the roof to get a better view. The second picture we took was that of the UNRWA school. The boys then led me through the maze of alleyways out of the camp, to take pictures of, what else, but the recently constructed football field, where teams from the camp play against teams from the neighbouring towns. Of course, all of the boys wanted their picture taken on the field. We then took photos of the health clinic, the cemetery, and climbed onto another roof to take bird’s-eye view pictures of the entire camp. Nabil wanted to take a photo of his house, and soon enough, we were stopping by everyone’s house to take a picture. Everyone was surprised and saddened by how quickly the film ran out. They boys brought me to a photo shop where the film could be developed, and I dropped it off. The boys were disappointed that they would have to wait a few days before seeing the pictures. They enjoyed the experience, and were exited that people in Canada would see their camp, their mosque, their school, and of course, their football field. I was grateful for the tour of the camp that I unintentionally received!

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