Aisling Byrne is Projects Co-ordinator with Conflicts Forum in Beirut (www.conflictsforum.org)
The first edition (2002) of the annual Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, produced by BADIL, was launched in the British House of Commons in London on 6 November 2002, at an event organized by al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition UK, and the Joint Parliamentary Middle East Councils in Britain.
The barracks that became Neirab Camp, outside Aleppo in Northern Syria, are World War II French army barracks which Palestinians fleeingtheirvillagesin1948settledin,supposedlytemporarily,toawait their return. Blankets, the first partitions in barracks, when it was not unknown for someone to roll in their sleep into a neighbouring family’s space, were replaced by walls five years later as refugees began lives in exile.
Former special Mid-East adviser to European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief, Javier Solana, and adviser to the International Quartet
Alastair Crooke facilitated various Israeli-Palestinian ceasefires during 2001-2003; he was instrumental in the negotiations leading to the ending of the siege on the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem and mediated in the negotiations leading to the cease fire declared by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in June 2003. He was a staff member of President Clinton’s Fact Finding Committee, led by Senator Mitchell, into the causes of the Second Intifada and has had direct experience of conflict over aperiod of 30 years in Ireland, South Africa, Namibia, Afghanistan and Colombia. He is currently co-director of Conflicts Forum based in Beirut.