The second of a two-part series exploring the lives of Palestinian refugees (the first was Gaza Under Siege) this Life programme is set in Lebanon, where – unofficially – there are 250,000 Palestinian refugees. Barred from working, they also have limited access to medical care and higher education. Many have been in Lebanon for 53 years. A Palestinian doctor working in the PLO-funded Haifa hospital in Burj el Barajneh refugee camp, Beirut, earns US$200 a month, and is glad of the work: she’s forbidden work in any Lebanese hospital. Elsewhere young Palestinians don’t value education because they see their parents in menial, part-time jobs regardless of their qualifications. For refugees living in south Lebanon, a degree qualifies a person to pick oranges, at a salary of US$6.30 a day. South Lebanon’s refugees are even prohibited from rebuilding their houses. Those who can get out of Lebanon go to Europe, Canada, USA – but they never give up the hope of returning to their villages in Palestine. Adding insult to injury a recent law enacted in Lebanon prohibits Palestinians from owning property – though people from any other recognised state can. But Palestinians don’t have a state: they are, officially, stateless.
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