Wednesday, January 11, 2006
These are the faces of the children who inhabit the Dheisha refugee camp. I am staying with a family that lives here. It is probably not what you would expect. The housing, although primitive, is permanent. Big boxy buildings that scale the hills of ancient Bethlehem, I sit now just a stones throw from the Church of the Nativity, birthplace of Jesus. These children are faced with a life without opportunity. Schools barely function, social services are non-existant, doctors are located in Israel, if you get sick you must travel through a check point in order to seek medical attention, and many die in the process of trying to cross the border, because they are held up for hours at interrogation stations. They are not allowed to travel, there are no jobs, entire families live under one common roof. I am staying with a family in a one room flat with a mother, her four grown sons, her grandson, and her sons wife. And the hospitality is amazing, you would not believe how excited these people are to have us here. The want us to publicize their stories. These are a people forgotten, abused, and ignored. Injustice, plain and simple. There is not so much as a level playing field with grass for these children, they are uncoordinated because the only thing they ever learn how to throw is stones. I have been told today by more than one, that they have nothing to live for. They bleed so that Israel can live a peaceful existence, one in which they can ignore the suffering of these people.