[imc-okanagan] IMC Beirut: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon - A
christoff at resist.ca
Wed Aug 10 07:04:30 PDT 2005
IMC Beirut: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
[A 30 Minute Radio Documentary Produced by Sawsan Kalache, Mohammed Shublaq and
Stefan Christoff of the Independent Media Center of Beirut.]
Hundreds of thousands of stateless Palestinian refugees reside in Lebanon
scattered in impoverished refugee camps throughout the country, originally
displaced through the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Without the
right to work in over 70 professions, barred from owning property and legally
defined as foreigners, Palestinians live in Lebanon as second-class citizens
without basic social or political rights.
In June 2005, Lebanon's Labour Minister proposed changes to the country's
labour laws, which if implemented by the newly formed government will allow
Palestinians in the country the right to work in manual and clerical jobs,
while still being forced to apply for foreign work permits. Although the
proposed changes will still prohibit Palestinian professionals from working as
doctors, lawyers, journalists, politicians and engineers.
The proposed amendments to the country labour law takes place in the shadow of
larger political changes in Lebanon. In April 2005, Syria capitulated with U.N.
Security Council Resolution 1559 and withdrew upwards of 15 000 troops from the
country. Social and political pressure also forced tens-of-thousands of Syrian
workers from the country. In this context Palestinians in the camps express
skepticism regarding economic motives for the proposed change regarding their
right to work, as it is commonly argued that Palestinians can now fill the
cheap-labour vacuum, left by the withdrawal of Syrian labour force.
----> This radio documentary features many voices of Palestinians in Lebanon
including, Olfat Mahmoud of the Women's Humanitarian Organization (WHO) in Burj
el-Barajneh refugee camp, Souheil el-Natour a central committee member of the
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and Jaber Suleiman of
Aidoun in Lebanon (Arabic for "the Returnees").
----> For more information of the current situation of Palestinian Refugees in
Lebanon visit the Independent Media Center of Beirut at:
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