Palestinian Refugees play host to new Syrian arrivals!

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We visited the refugee camp in Baalbek, near the Lebanese/Syrian border in the first week of May, 2013.  The camp has been housing around 4,000 Palestinian refugees, mainly from the Galilee area, for more than a generation. In the last two years though they’ve had to cope with an influx of 7,400 Syrian refugees!

The camp manager received our delegation warmly when we arrived, mid-afternoon without an appointment. He spoke to us briefly in the dim light of his office (there was no electricity). We asked him how an already crowded refugee camp could possibly absorb an influx of new refugees that is twice its original size!  His answer was simple. “Every family adopts two new families … in some cases three!”

The Palestinians of Baalbek are simply an inspiration, though it’s hard to know how long these people can continue in this impossible situation. One small contribution I think we could make is to run some boxing camps for the young people during their summer holidays. I think Denning would be the ideal person to manage it! Does anyone else want to volunteer?

Father Dave

Our delegation visits Baalbek Palestinian Refugee Camp

Our delegation visits Baalbek Palestinian Refugee Camp

The first video is Luke Waters’ coverage of the camp, screened for SBS TV. Luke was a valued member of our team until his employer said that he couldn’t join us on our trip into Syria (or so I was told)!

(if you can’t view this video, click here)

Denning and the kids at Baalbek

Denning and the kids at Baalbek

The second video is Denning clowning around. I don’t know the prelude to this scene but when I arrived he’d been teaching his charges to be ‘Aussies‘ for some time! 😉

(if you can’t view this video, click here)

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