ctrp442 Growing Up Palestinian in Lebanon

With Ashraf in TyreThe name Tyre was one I remembered best from the days of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 when the city was bombed and that standard war-map would appear on news reports.  While in country this past December, when I was offered a chance to go down there and speak with someone who lived in a refugee camp- I immediately said yes.  But what I didn’t realize until I got there, was just how many people not only live in the camps, but were born and have lived their entire lives there.  In a situation that has existed since 1948, there are stories that would be hard for some people to believe and too much for others to think about.
This podcast features a conversation we had with a young artist by the name of Ashraf.  After taking us to see the city and some of its amazing history, he sat down with us to answer our questions about his life, the situation for residents of the camp, and what the prospects are for people who have been referred to and treated as non-citizen “guests” for over 60 years.

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Remembering The Journey from Europe

With only 48 hours remaining before I take my first ever trip to South East Asia, I have a recommendation for all of you.

My dear friend and podcasting colleague Richard was travelling around Equador, Peru and Colombia during most of this month. During that journey he visited family who had been displaced, like so many Jews trying to get out of Europe in the run up to World War II.  This part of his family would eventually settle in Colombia.

In his most recent video entry you can watch an interview with his relative, as she describes that boat journey from Europe and where and why they ended up in Curacao and eventually Colombia.  Its a very amazing ordeal, especially the part about how no country would allow them entry, and they just sailed on and on hoping for a safe port.

Watch the film, it is well worth your time.

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Iraqi Swedes

I’ve been up to my neck in research for the next Eclectic Newsbrief, (which is now hosted by Madge Weinstein!), and the topic that I most enjoyed was that of the huge influx of Iraqis in Sweden! Yes… Sweden!

Some fascinating developments. First of all, almost 9,000 Iraqi’s applied for asylum there last year…a huge increase over the 3,000+ in 2005. Also… Sweden accounts for half of all the Iraqi’s who have sought asylum from their imploding country in the European Union.

Also, browsing through the PEW website which is the greatest source for info about people everywhere, they pointed to a NY times article that stated compared to the US, Sweden – home to 9 million people- has opened its doors to BY FAR more Iraqi’s over the past few years.

Public Schoooooo

Now hooray for Sweden, no doubt about it. I read all about the services, on the Swedish migration board website, they’re working on providing to the huge number of Iraqi’s coming to the country. A wonderful thing for both Sweden and the Iraqi’s.

On the other hand.. whats with the US government? They send troops to supposedly die for Iraq. They spend mountains of money on Iraq. They talk a mighty talk about how hopeful they are for the country. How about opening the doors to more Iraqi refugees than say… Sweden?

Lastly.. its also not a proud spot for crazy governments like the Netherlands and Denmark who have now made it famously difficult to be welcome as a refugee from anywhere.

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