Chatila still haunted by the carnage

by Joelle Touma

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Other Articles by Joelle Touma
Liban: les trous de mémoire des manuels scolaires
Lebanon: the lapses of memory of the school manuals (english translation)
Des strings et pas de mâles sur une plage de Beyrouth
J-Strings and No Males on a Beirut Beach (english translation)

There are twelve Palestininan camps in Lebanon, and around 350 000 refugees taken a census of by the Unrwa. Even if they were born in Lebanon or have been living there for more than fifty years, Palestininans are treated like all foreigners, 73 trades are unaccessible to them and they have no access to public education. The Unrwa founded schools that insure their schooling. The camps have an extraterritoriality status, and the Lebanese authorities do not enter. Around ten armed political factions make the law. Lebanon refuses to improve the situation of Palestinian refugees in order not to give their stay a permanent status. On one hand, because of the economical problems their establishment could generate and, on the other hand, because of the confessionnal imbalance that would result. The Palestinians are in majority Sunnite Muslims. Thus the Christians are haunted by the fear of seing this fragile confessionnal balance ruined.

© Libération 2002