I am Fadi,* a Palestinian refugee born in Lebanon at Ain Alhliwa refugee camp. The camp itself is a big prison, just like Gaza.
I couldn’t stand living at Ail Alhilwa where fights, shootings, and bombings happened almost every day. This went on despite the fact that the Lebanese army surrounds the camp, and which they turned into a prison,
We were all suffering. All my family, especially the children. It was never safe. I came to Finland seeking peace for my family and me. After waiting for almost two years, our psychological condition is terrible; we are suffering, my wife cannot stand waiting anymore. For this reason, I hope that the ministry would have mercy on us.
We are holders of Palestinian – Lebanese refugee travel documents.
Ein al-Hilweh is the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. It had a population of over 70,000 Palestinian refugees but swelled to nearly 120,000, as a result of the influx of refugees from Syria since 2011. The camp is located west of the village Miye ou Miye and the Mieh Mieh refugee camp, southeast of the port city of Sidon and north of Darb Es Sim.
Ain al-Hilweh was established near the city of Sidon in 1948 by the International Committee of the Red Cross to accommodate refugees from Amqa, Saffuriya, Sha’ab, Taitaba, Manshieh, al-Simireh, al-Nahr, Safsaf, Hittin, al-Ras al-Ahmar, al-Tira and Tarshiha in northern Palestine.
In 2016 Lebanese authorities began constructing a concrete wall with watchtowers around the camp. The wall has faced some criticism, being called “racist”.
Ein Alhelweh is a ticking time bomb.
* The asylum seeker’s name was changed.