Friday, August 18, 2006

The war end

Dear friends,

I'm writing this message at the first day of the cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon, the first day of peace that I hope it'll be permanent. Yesterday I heard the Israeli foreign mister spoke at press conference this "we discovered that war will not solve some problems" good, at least the Israelis understand some thing and agreed to cease-fire, the Israelis took one month to find that important fact "war will not solve some problems" actually war is good for nothing, I hope the Israelis will keep that in their mind while they bombing the Palestinians now.

People here are very happy to return to their houses but they're not sure about how long the peace will stand not only because the problems with the Israelis but because the fears of civil war if Hezbollah will refuse to give up his arms, and in the south there is another kind of fears from the unexploded bombs, specially the cluster bombs that the Israelis dropped hundreds of these internationally banned bombs, I heard one child killed today when one cluster exploded near his house.

The strange thing in this war, there is no winner in this war. We simply returned to the situation that was before the beginning of this war. A bloody destructive war was for nothing and brought nothing for any one; it just brought misery, sadness and pain for the dead of innocent children, women and old men. I hope we all understand the lesson from this war: war is good for nothing and violence will not solve our problems. More pictures are here:
Thanks for your care and peace upon you.
The truth warrior
Osam Altaee
Beirut 14/August/2006

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Live or die alone…

I started writing about the war on Lebanon before nearly 17 days but I finished writing about the refugees, many of us (the refugees) and many of you thought that UNHCR exist to help the refugees but the truth is another thing! I spoke a lot before about the performance of the UNHCR in the past 11 years. Many people whom read my writings in my e-books or in my campaigns didn't believe me! I understand well how people around the world have good image about the UNHCR because they didn't look at the UNHCR from another angle or from the refugees' eyes. The refugees who their life depend on the UNHCR.

I tried with my activities to improve the performance of the UNHCR by changing the bad policies and procedures of the UNHCR but never had I thought that the policies UNHCR could be worse than what I found during this war on Lebanon and what you can see in the pictures I took in front the office of the UNHCR.
I like now to summarize the situation of the refugees in Lebanon and what the UNHCR did since the first day of the war:
Hezbollah captured the two Israelis soldiers at 12.July.2006 and in same day Israel started bombing bridges in the south.
13. JULY.2006 at morning Israel bombed the airport in Beirut for first time. At same day I went to the UNHCR's office and found only security agent, he told me that the office is closed for unknown time as he told me "till further notice". After I kept going to the office nearly every day and every day I found refugees are waiting in front of the UNHCR (like you see in the pictures). The refugees wanted to speak with any one working for the UNHCR but there was only the policemen working to keep the refugees away from the office. After nearly 10 days the UNHCR put announcement on the main door office of the UNHCR to tell the refugees that the only help that could provide by the UNHCR is to find shelter for the refugees whom were living in dangerous areas! The refugees found this ridicules because nearly all refugees left the dangerous area at first day of the bombing on Beirut (13.JULY.2006). If the refugees need to wait 10 days for the UNHCR, so they'll need graves not shelters!
Many refugees found shelter by themselves in public schools and no one waited the UNHCR because never ever the UNHCR in Lebanon provided one refugee with shelter in Lebanon! And I don't think a closed office is able to provide any help for any one. We can divide the refugees in Lebanon at this moment into 3 categories:
The refugees whom left the dangerous areas.
The refugees whom preferred to stay in the places in the dangerous areas (like me, I live in the Burje Albarajneh Palestinian camp) or who left to a public school but they returned back because they didn't bare living in the school.
The refugees whom was living in safe areas and they stayed in their places.

For all refugees there was one question: When the UNHCR will help us to leave Lebanon? Till today the UNHCR didn't answer this question. For unknown reason the UNHCR stopped all the resettlement programs and didn't try to evacuate the refugees from Lebanon. Even before the war, UNHCR has limited resettlement program because for years the UNHCR didn't consider Lebanon as 'war zone' or pay attention to the Lebanese attitude toward the refugees which they considered as illegal residents in Lebanon therefore they were subject for arrest and deportation. And lately when the new regional representative Mr. Stephane Jaquemet took the responsibility in Lebanon, he made clear that he is working with the government of Lebanon to make the life of the refugees in Lebanon easier! (Do you think he still works on that target?!) He spoke this in many public meetings that I attend personally. In more he made clear statement during interview with local newspaper called 'Alsafier" (I translated that interview but didn't publish it yet) about why the UNHCR isn't able to provide the refugees with resettlement in adequate time, he answered that the UNHCR can't provide the refugees in Lebanon with resettlement on account the refugees in another parts of the world! I don't know if there is war every where in the world now!!!

Now the life is hard in Lebanon, not only because of the bombing but also because missing the food, fuel and electricity in many parts of Lebanon. Lebanon suffers now from the siege and tearing the country apart by the Israeli bombing on the roads, bridges and borders. It became hard to find good food and water and it became harder day after day. The important question now isn't about finding safe place but about where we can find food, water and fuel!!! Even the life isn't easy in public schools, I met many refugees left the public schools because they faced many problems their and even the Lebanese started to help the citizens more than foreigners and this is normal because as what happened with the refugees, the UNHCR wanted to move the refugees to public schools where another organizations or voluntary people are looking for displaced people, what I mean the UNHCR doesn't have it's own place when only the refugees can find shelter and help from the UNHCR! Like I spoke before, the UNHCR never provided any refugees with shelter in Lebanon and in more the UNHCR doesn't have any plans for emergency situation like wars. The emergency plan of the UNHCR in Lebanon at this war was closing the office (it still closed till today) and evacuates the majority of foreign workers of the UN!

Speech and argument help nothing now the situation here is very bad and worsen day after day. We don't see any end for this war, so we the refugees appealed to reopen the office of UNHCR in Beirut and give permission for all refugees to approach the office. We ask the UNHCR to declare Lebanon as war zone (it didn't do till today!) and work to put plans for evacuate all the refugees (there are nearly 1400 registered refugees) from Lebanon as soon as possible and the UNHCR must hold all the responsibility for any delay in evacuate the refugees and must support them completely by providing them with their needs like food, water and health care, we don't want shelters in Lebanon because no place is safe now in Lebanon and to find safe place will take long time. We're the refugees in Lebanon in urgent need to leave Lebanon and we ask all humans in the world to support us via sending messages to the UNHCR, please use these emails or any other ways possible:,,,,,
Yesterday the Lebanese policemen removed the refugees from the opposite side of the street in front the UNHCR office, today they started to gather in small alley near the UNHCR. Please see the pictures here:

Peace upon you.
The truth warrior
Osam Altaee
Beirut 31/July/2006