Palestinians in Iraqi No Man’s Land; Part 1 - 07.16.2007

Today there are more than 1400 Palestinians stranded in a purgatory between Syria and Iraq. These Palestinians find themselves not only reviled and targeted in Baghdad, where many have lived for the past 60 years. Now they live in tents in the desert, left to wonder why none of the world’s governments will give them safe passage. Furthermore, so they claim, when the rare offer of resettlement comes, they’re left waiting desperately, hoping the government of “their country,” the Palestinian Authority, will permit the move. Many claim the PA is using them as just another pawn in a shell game of victimhood, distraction, and deal-making.

In part one of a two part series, these Palestinians (or are they Iraqis?) speak about desperate circumstances in Baghdad, and the reasons they fled the country they called home for generations. After they fled Baghdad, they found their circumstances still desperate, and perhaps in some ways worse. Syria has closed its borders to Palestinians, Jordan is closed to Palestinians and Iraqis alike.

Militias and criminals, as well as the US Military, apparently have been involved in the disappearances and assaults of refugees in the camp over the life of the camp.

Despite all the terrible events in the news about Iraq, the apparent lack of concern of the international community has even led some of the refugees to contemplate returning to Baghdad. Next week we’ll discuss the specific difficulties of the camp in more detail, as well as the circumstances involving the Palestinian Authority’s own response to their citizens’ crisis.

Nowhere else will you hear the stories of Palestinian refugees from Iraq, from them directly. As we have expanded our staff and renewed our work to bring compelling stories from Iraq, that can be found nowhere else, we need you to keep supporting our work. Please make a donation today, tell your friends, and if you might know of a sponsor or other source of ongoing funding for Alive in Baghdad, please contact us!

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