“. . . the moon is trudging there downcast and weary as the UNRWA. . .” (Rashid Hussein)

(Please take a moment to read the page “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

Morning lineup at UNRWA school in Gaza. (UN Photo-Shareef Sarhan. November 27, 2013.)
Morning lineup at UNRWA school in Gaza. (UN Photo-Shareef Sarhan. November 27, 2013.)

❶ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
UNRWA  STAFF  IN  GAZA  ANNOUNCE  STRIKE  ON  1ST  DAY OF  SCHOOL  YEAR
Aug. 24, 2015
GAZA CITY ―Around 225,000 Gazan schoolchildren were forced to return home on Monday after local staff at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza went on strike on the first day of the new school year.
____The strike comes amid a financial crisis in the agency that earlier threatened to delay the start of the school year.
[. . . .]
____The union met with UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl on Sunday and said the “atmosphere wasn’t positive.”
[. . . .]
____For Palestinian refugees, the start of the school year came as a relief after UNRWA warned for weeks that it would have to delay the school year if it was unable to cover a $101 million deficit.
____The UN agency was only able to announce on Wednesday that the year would go ahead as scheduled, after it secured just short of $80 million in contributions against its deficit.
More. . .
Related. . . UNRWA  COMMISSIONER  GENERAL  FREEZES  CONTROVERSIAL  ‘UNPAID  LEAVE’
Related. . . ‘WE  CAN’T  HAVE  ANOTHER  YEAR  LIKE  THIS’:  UNRWA  COMMISSIONER-GENERAL

❷ From: AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
AFTER  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  LEFT,  THESE  GAZANS  PLANTED  MORE  THAN  EGGPLANTS
Hana Salah
August 23, 2015
KHAN YUNIS, Gaza Strip — A vast agricultural area in southern Gaza was dubbed by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in 2007 as Muhararat, or liberated lands. This term designates the settlements that were vacated by Israel in August 2005 and turned into Palestinian properties after 38 years. Ever since, the Palestinian government has been using these lands for cultivation, housing projects and resorts.
____When former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan in 2003, the withdrawal in 2005 was warmly welcomed in the Gaza Strip. Nineteen settlements and settlement outposts distributed in the south and north were evacuated, and checkpoints were abolished. . .
____In 2006, the Palestinian government announced the formation of the General Administration of National Muhararat, tasked with managing, protecting, investing and supervising the Muhararat while reaping profits from them.
More. . .
Hana Salah is a Palestinian financial journalist based in Gaza. She previously worked with Palestinian newspapers and Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency.

The supervisor of citrus and potato cultivation in Muhararat areas inspects a crop, Gaza Strip, Aug. 12, 2015. (photo by Hana Salah)
The supervisor of citrus and potato cultivation in Muhararat areas inspects a crop, Gaza Strip, Aug. 12, 2015. (Photo by Hana Salah)

❸ From MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  BEGINS  CONSTRUCTION  ON  RUINS  OF  NEGEV  BEDOUIN  VILLAGE
August 23, 2015
BEERSHEBA ― Israeli excavators on Sunday morning began work on infrastructure for two Jewish-only settlements in the former Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev desert in southern Israel, locals said.
____Locals told Ma’an that excavators and bulldozers were building a new road under heavy protection of Israeli forces.
____In November 2013, the Israeli government approved a decision to demolish the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran and passed plans to create two Jewish settlements, Hiran and Kassif, in the area.
More. . .

❹ From THE PALESTINIAN INFORMATION CENTER
HAMAS:  NO  JUSTIFICATION  FOR  THE  UNRWA’S  REDUCTION  OF  ITS  SERVICES
August 24, 2015
GAZA ―Hamas Department of Refugee Affairs Sunday called on the international community and UNRWA to continue offering aid to and protecting right of Palestinian refugees till their return to their homeland from which they were forcibly displaced in 1948.
____There is no justification for the reduction of UNRWA’s services provided to Palestinian refugees in its five fields of operations especially after its Commissioner-General declared UNRWA’s 2015 financial crisis is over, the statement said. . .
____The department also stressed its total rejection of reducing UNRWA’s health care services provided to Palestinian refugees.
[. . . .]
____The Department of Refugee Affairs also stressed the importance of using Palestinian Authority textbooks in UNRWA schools, as it helps save huge amounts of money and prevents any distortion to the Palestinian history and struggle.
More. . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis
From INSIGHT ON CONFLICT
BORN  &  BRED  WITHOUT  RIGHTS:  GAZA  STRIP  REFUGEES  IN  JORDAN
Dario Sabaghi
July 10 2015
2 million Palestinian refugees live in Jordan but they are not all afforded the same legal status. Dario Sabaghi explains how those originating from the Gaze Strip are not considered citizens leaving them in a very precarious position.
[. . . .]
____Jerash Camp, also known locally as Gaza camp, was established in 1968 for 11,500 Palestine refugees who fled from the Gaza strip, as consequence of 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It is located not far from the Roman stone ruins of Jerash. Currently, it hosts about 28,000 registered refugees, who live in an area of 0.75 square kilometres. If you want to understand its overcrowding, you have to take in consideration that Gaza Camp is almost twice as large as Vatican City populated by 845 inhabitants.
More. . .

“TENT  #50  (SONG  OF  A  REFUGEE),”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN
Tent #50, on the left, is my new world,
Shared with me by my memories:
Memories as verdant as the eyes of spring.
Memories like the eyes of a woman weeping,
And memories the color of milk and love!

Two doors has my tent, two doors like two wounds
One leads to the other tents, wrinkle-browed
Like clouds no longer able to weep;
And the second ― a rent in the ceiling, leading
To the skies,
Revealing the stars
Like refugees scattered,
And like them, naked.

Also the moon is trudging there
Downcast and weary as the UNRWA,
Yellow as if it were the UNRWA
Under a load of yellow cheese for the refugees.

Tent #50, on the left, that is my present.
But it is too cramped to contain a future!
And ― “Forget!” they say, but how can I?

Teach the night to forget to bring
Dreams showing me my village
And teach the wind to forget to carry to me
The aroma of apricots in my fields!
And teach the sky, too, to forget to rain.

Only then, I may forget my country.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
Available from Amazon.
Rashid Hussein (1936-1977) was born in Musmus, Palestine. He published his first collection in 1957 and established himself as a major Palestinian poet and orator. He participated in founding the Land Movement in 1959. He left in 1966 and lived in Syria and Lebanon and later in New York City where he died in February, 1977. He was buried a week later in Musmus. His funeral was attended by thousands of Palestinians.
More. . .

Jerash Camp, also known locally as Gaza camp, was established in 1968 for 11,500 Palestine refugees who fled from the Gaza strip. Photo Dario Sabaghi.
Jerash Camp, also known locally as Gaza camp, was established in 1968 for 11,500 Palestine refugees who fled from the Gaza strip. Photo Dario Sabaghi.

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