Last week incorporated many different and new experiences. We visited the Dead Sea, Madaba, and Mount Nebo. I stood on the same mountaintop upon which Moses is said to have died. But the most important experience would be our visit to the Baqa’a Refugee Camp near the city of Salt in Jordan. In the photo above, you can see a densely populated area in the upper center portion of the photo. That is Baqa’a from the overlooking hills.
The camp was established in 1968, after the second wave of Palestinian Refugees fled historic Palestine in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Almost 50 years later, the camp is still inhabited by nearly 105,000 individuals who anticipate a return to their homes in Palestine. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, established specifically to assist Palestinians expelled from their homes in the aftermath of 1948, still provides basic services to Baqa’a such as education and medical. The camp is now developed into something more accurately described as a slum. The people live in abject poverty and forego investment in their community because they do not recognize it as their own, and thoroughly believe that their situation is temporary. Whether the situation is temporary is not a question I am fit to ask. The more important question is why are we content for people, regardless of status or origin, to live in such conditions?
For anyone interested, I will upload some videos from the camp and I hope you’ll watch. One video may be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5s_pBXFZXs&feature=youtu.be