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Friday, December 17, 2010

New Report

My host University, AUB, partnered with the United Nations this past summer to conduct a large-scale study of the conditions of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Yesterday, UNRWA (the UN's Relief Works Agency for Palestinian refugees) released its findings. Follow the link to see results. Two-thirds of the refugees live in camps, concentated either in the south of Lebanon or in the suburbs of Beirut, and over 66 percent of Palestinians in Lebanon are poor, meaning they "cannot meet their basic food and non-food needs." One of the problems is public policy, which keeps Palestinians from traveling, owning property, getting work permits, and becoming citizens. Balance of power among the "big three" (Sunni, Maronite, and Shi'a) is important here, one of the factors making the issue very complex. Despite the complexity, though, I hope that greater awareness internationally and greater empathy within Lebanon can lead to positive change.

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