Shatila Massacre: Only One of Many
By Mona Zaaroura

When Sabra and Shatila massacre was committed I was not yet born. I got to know it through my questions about the reasons of the miserable life we lead in the camp, in Shatila.
  
I am fourteen year old girl now, I, like all children in Shatila, never enjoyed my childhood, we never felt secure, we never smiled except a refugee smile, a temporary one. I grew up in Shatila and my parents told me about Shatila's wound, a wound that will stay in my heart forever, the massacre.  I knew from the stories told by those who survived it that thousands of our people were massacred in the cruelest ways and in cold blood. Darkness overshadowed Shatila for three days; three days of death, of torture of horror and fear. We were told the Israel besides it allies in Lebanon were responsible for the massacre. But it was neither the first nor the last massacre of Israel.  Israel first took our grandparents land and their dreams and kicked them out of our homeland in 1948.  We became refugees but the dream of return never faded. Horrified by this dream, it followed us to our refugee camp to kill us with its allies in Lebanon.

As I grew up I got to know that massacre does not only mean killing people in one shot. In that way, Shatila massacre is only one of the many massacres committed against us everyday. Everyday we suffer because we are refugees and we don't have a homeland. We as youth live everyday the massacres of our fading dreams. Problems at school and drop outs isn't that a massacre? Illegal departure from the country to the unknown just to escape the unbearable conditions in the camp, isn’t that a massacre? Deprivation of our civil rights to become dehumanized numbers in the records of the United Nations isn't that a massacre? A real massacre? And isn't being refugees living away from our homeland a massacre to our hearts?

 As I grew up I got to realize that only return will protect us from all these massacres committed against us everyday, just return to Palestine will make us live safely forever. Just return will fulfill our lost humanity. I and other refugees, younger and older living in Shatila or anywhere in the Diaspora are still waiting at the doors of return and crying out stop massacring us outside and inside Palestine everyday.