The 16 December 2012 was supposedly a routine day helping the people who fled from their homes and neighborhoods to live temporarily in safe places near my area. They sough shelter in Alfalwgah, al jawanh , Al Karmel schools, schools in Yarmouk that have the names of the Palestinian cities and villages we belong to, that our parents were removed from after the occupation of Palestine. December 16th, 2012 is a day that I tens of thousands who lived and still live in Yarmouk Camp, including myself, never expected to be a turning point for their lives. I can’t forget that day when Yarmouk was bombed and became a battlefield, the camp that is our temporary station while dreaming and struggling to return to Palestine. Shelling, blood, shooting, and a lot of tears, I couldn’t distinguish between my neighbor’s black clothes and her face, which was colored black while I was trying to aid her, to discover that she was dead. Abandonment and despair were my feelings and the feeling of tens of thousands of Palestinians fleeing their houses, an exodus that mirrors al-nakba in 1948. Based on how our grandparents described it to us before our 2012 Nakba, they are living their second one. Months later and with the impossibility of entering or living in Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey, the neighboring countries to Syria where other Syrian refugees were seeking refuge, I was pushed to take the decision to give thousands of dollars, the biggest part of my father’s saving and my soul, to smugglers who put me on a boat to Europe. I spent a total of nine days in small fishing boats, each containing more than 400 people, most of them Palestinians from Syria, and miraculously we were saved by another boat after ours was damaged. On that, one boat became 700 people as we completed the journey, a journey based on gambling our lives and souls. Yarmouk is not the only afflicted Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. Khan alsheh, Dara’a , al hunineh, al sbenh, Handarat and other Palestine camps in Syria are also afflicted by shelling, kidnapping, siege, car bombings, arrest, starvation, sinking in the sea, a horrible absence of medical services and supplies, lack of any water resources, internal and external displacement and other disasters. The Palestinian refugees in Syria are left to face their own destiny without real efforts from the organizations, agencies and peoples responsible for providing them with protection, and on top of that, we suffocated because of the decision that cut a large amount of aid to the camps. After 5 years of continuous suffering, the Palestinian refugees are standing beside their Syria brothers while the Palestinian there are one the most vulnerable groups in the crisis. (I wasn’t sure what you were trying to say here so I guessed) It is a shame to feel concern about what is still happening in besieged Yarmouk and in the other
camps in Syria, without taking any action to relieve this situation. I ask all of you from organizations to politicians and officials: Do advocate for them, Do protect them, Do relieve them not only by aid ladies and gentleman , It is not only now, and not only in Syria, it happened for us before in Lebanon, Jordan and is happening now in Syria. After 67 years of the Nakba of Palestine, I am Faris Shehabi from the village of Loubia in northern Palestine and on behalf of millions of refugees in Syria and around the world from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation who are still suffering, we don’t call for just any solution to the conditions we face, we demand the rightful solution which allows for millions of refugees to enjoy their right of return to their villages and cities in Palestine and an end to the Zionist occupation of our land, an occupation you can equate with Nazis crimes, but under the cover and the full support of the international community. Thank you.