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20011015: Beirut, Palestinian refugee camp Borj al-Barajneh is located in the suburban municipality of Borj al-Barajneh, about six kilometres south of central Beirut. The camp houses some 18 000 Palestinian refugees, it was established in 1949 as a gathering of tents by refugees who had spent the previous months in southern Lebanese villages. In the early fifties, shelters of locally produced cement bricks were replacing the tents. With the 1982 Israeli invasion and siege of Beirut, Borj al-Barajneh camp was largely evacuated and exposed to massive Israeli bombing and destruction. 60 percent of the camp was destroyed. Soha, a camp resident who was a young girl at the time recalls: ÒI walked back to the camp from Beirut one day. People I met on the road said I was crazy, that it was dangerous to go there. IÕll never forget the sight of the camp that day. Wahhiyat Allah [by GodÕs existence], it was all flatÉhouses were spread out, the alleys had disappeared.Ó <br />
© Gorm K. Gaare 2001