But all signs of Chili's restaurants and Internet cafes soon disappeared as we made our way south, toward the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp [in Lebanon], a ghetto of sorts that had been established for Palestinian refugees who'd been displaced from Israel during the 1948 war, sixty years ago. ... Looking into the haunting eyes of Palestinians still trapped in the camp after three generations sent my imagination scurrying after their story.
I asked our driver, Mohammed, why the Lebanese government didn't just make the Palestinian refugees citizens like they did everyone else born in Beirut. He shrugged. "Refugees make a better story for the world."
They live in absolute squalor, and they proudly display large banners with the face of their savior, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Hezbollah. It is Hezbollah that brings free blankets in the winters. It's Hezbollah that brings toys for the children and food for their parents. While American bombers leave white vapor ribbons high overhead on their way to kill more children, Hezbollah hands out candy to these children.
At least that's the impression on the streets, where young minds observe and form lasting opinions.
Friday, February 26, 2010
From Tea with Hezbollah by Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis (pages 75-76):