Mahmoud Zeidan is a cofounder of Aidoun Group and the Nakba archive.
With Palestine remaining the central concern of the broader Arab nation, being at the center of the conflict between Zionism and the Arab countries, it follows that a constant and persistent monitoring of the changes sweeping through the Arab countries would be instructive to understanding how such changes might impact the Palestinian cause. One urgent and pressing matter within this broad theme is the plight of Palestinian refugees from Syria. While the world’s attention has understandably been focused on the repercussions of the Syrian crisis on the wider region, such as the way it impacts Israeli security and the possible impact on religious and ethnic communities across Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, this community has been largely neglected. This marks another chapter in the history of world apathy towards Palestinian refugees, whose suffering extends back to their original forced exile in 1948.
During the last Israeli aggression on Lebanon, thousands of Lebanese families fled to the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el Hilweh in Saida, to escape the Israeli planes that chased them all the way. Palestinian refugees along with local NGOs in the camp sped to relieve the guests and provide them with food, mattresses and cover to live in dignity until they returned to their villages. This time, the Palestinian refugees and the displaced Lebanese shared not only the pains of exile and old histories but also the dream of return.
Hussein Loubani - Nahr el Bared camp, Lebanon
One day we will return to our own Home,
And succumb to tender hopes.
We will return no matter how much time passes,
And distances separate us.
--A song by prominent singer Fairouz