Story of Mashwra
My name is Mashwra. I am 16 and Palestinian. I left school when I was 12 to sell candy on the street. My family fled Israeli oppression in the Palestinian territories years ago in hopes of a better life in Lebanon. However, we found a dismal economy, international aid shortages, and discrimination against Palestinians. So I began working full-time to help my family survive.
I thought I would return to school when I returned to Palestine. However, my hope dimmed in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s statement in 2017 recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestinians view East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and the US proclamation dealt a blow to the estimated 280,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, many of whom hope to return home to Palestine one day.
We are treated in Lebanon as second-class residents, restricted from working in most fields, banned from owning property, forced to live in run-down camps, and barred from formal education.
Written by Rethinking Refugees