Why Did Our Parents Die?
By Shadia Abdallah, Muhammad Merhi, and Ola Ghannam

“ My parents died in the massacre of Sabra and Shatila.”
“ My father died in prison after being tortured.”
“ My father died of asthma because of the camp conditions at home and the unhygienic conditions in the camp.”
My father died during the war of the camp.”
Or parents didn’t die a natural death. They were still young. They died simply because they were Palestinians living in Shatila. They died, but Palestine has yet to return. And we are the ones who have paid the price. Those of us whose parents died and who live with their grandparents are prevented from going out. Those of us whose mothers died and whose fathers remarried acquired aunts who boss us around and treat us harshly. Those of us whose fathers died and whose mothers started working to provide for the family have been deprived of seeing her and having her affection. Or else their mothers remarried and went to Syria and aren’t allowed back to Lebanon to see their children in Shatila. Nor can her children go to visit her without an exit and reentry permit, which Palestinians can only dream about. Our parents died because they were refugees in the camps, and we have remained without a provider. What happened to our right of parental care?