/ 2018 / /

The Twice Refugees of Shatila

  • Prize
    Silver in Press/Political
  • Photographer
    Christian Bobst

Shatila is a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Beirut, It was established for a number of about 3000 people after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War to accommodate the Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled during the 1948 Palestinian exodus.

In Lebanon there are 12 Palestinian refugee camps with around 500,000 registered refugees. Lebanon´s neighboring country Syria once gave shelter to another 560,000 Palestinian refugees in 13 camps. Since the the Syrian civil war started more than 110,000 Syrian-born Palestinians have fled Syria, becoming so called "twice refugees".

As a consequence, the numbers of refugees In Shatila went up from 10,000 in 2014 to an estimate of 22,000 to 24,000 people, who are now squeezed together on approximately one square kilometer. Although the refugees from Syria are Palestinians they are very unpopular among the former Palastinian refugees in the camp. Therefore they are often discriminated and their children frequently bullied.

Shatila bursts at the seams, a dark, cramped concrete labyrinth with high criminality rates, and the twice refugees from Syria all share one hope only: to be able to leave this prison and fly to another country as soon as possible.