Gaza Refugee Camps: Poverty And No Privacy

Gaza Refugee Camps: Poverty And No Privacy

Gaza is the most densely populated area in the world. Large numbers of the Palestinian refugees dwelled in eight refugee camps after Al-Nakba since 1948 in Gaza city. The closeness of houses with very little distance to separate them-this distance may not be enough for an adult to pass- and the lack of privacy and confidentiality inside the house as if all houses is one house are the distinctive features for refugee camp.

A Palestinian woman, Mrs. Al-Farah, 56, has lived in an overcrowded refugee camp in Dair Al-Balah since many years. She complained of living in such overcrowded camp as her house doors and windows are opposite to her neighbor house; 50cm only separates her house from her neighbor house and her neighbor and she share common walls and windows so she suffers from the lack of privacy inside her house.

She says: "my neighbors from the four sides know what I cock and what I store in my little kitchen and even they hear my speech with my children." She added that her neighbors and she use the clothesline which is located in the street alternately. Also, if she made delicious food for her children, her neighbors' children gather at her house door holding dishes to share her family food too."

Emad, 10, lives in Al-Shatea' Camp in Gaza city says: "I wish I could have my own room which includes a bed, disk, and wardrobe as other children who I see in the TV. I do not have a bed to sleep what could I do? My father is jobless and we depend on UNRWA provisions, without it we would die because of starvation." He added: "I have no dreams; there is no place for my dreams in this depressing situation."Emad's mother says that the walls of her house are punctured and cracked so insects move between the houses easily. She added, "I find no place to make clothesline in side my home, so I make it in the tiny street; my children clothes were stolen many times." She does not have enough space in her tiny kitchen even to wash vegetables.

She says, "I take vegetables outside my house in order to wash them as there is no enough space inside my tiny kitchen to do that. While I was sitting in front of my house washing vegetables, my neighbors came to help me and we spoke together about our problems."

Abed AL-Rahman AL-Hinawi, 37, lives in a small house that does not exceed sixty square meters in Jabalia camp ; his brothers' house is opposite to his house as if they live at the same house. This closeness of houses leads to social problems and quarrels between their sons and wives.

It is worth mentioning that Gaza consists of eight refugee camps and the largest two camps of which are Al-Shatee and Jabalya. The Palestinian generation after generation has dwelled in these camps since Al-Nakba until now, for more than fifty years. UNRWA provides the refugees with many services and small amounts of money. Without these services, the refugees would have died of hunger due to the blockade which has been imposed on Gaza and the closure of crossings which prevent workers to work inside the occupied territories in 48.


Photoes by Eman Jomaa

Palestine Telegraph

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