Many Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon live in fear of being forcibly evicted from their homes. An NRC report and photo exhibit gives insight into their situations.
Palestinian refugees often do not know how long they can stay in their homes because they are not allowed to own land. Not being able to rent, own or repair homes that they have lived in for decades, results in serious consequences for Palestinian refugee women and their families.
It is even worse for female Palestinian refugees who have little hope of owning a home, usually being dependent on their fathers and husbands. As one woman explained, the path of a Palestinian woman is “from the house of her father to the house of her husband.”
Along with the report NRC Lebanon is now hosting a photo exhibit that provides a glimpse into the lives of four of these women.
Ahlam, a Palestinian woman from South Lebanon bought an apartment with her husband. However, since a 2001 amendment to Lebanese law, as Palestinians they cannot own or register property in Lebanon. So, they registered their home in her sister’s name who as a Jordanian national can legally own property in Lebanon.
“We do not have a normal family life. My husband has to work in the Emirates because of the remaining payments due on our home. My sister has the Jordanian nationality so we registered the apartment in her name. But what if…?” says Ahlam Abou Sahyoun.
Since the Syria crisis, Palestinian refugees who have been living in Lebanon for decades have become hosts for refugees fleeing from Syria. Refugees hosting refugees has exacerbated the already difficult housing conditions and has highlighted the lack of property rights for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
“Since the Syria crisis started, we have seen Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who have been living in camps and gatherings for decades welcome Palestinian refugees from Syria. We do not know when safe return to Syria will be possible and support is urgently needed to improve the poor living conditions in the overcrowded refugee camps and gatherings for Palestinians in Lebanon. Assisting people to have property rights is a concrete way of providing support,” says Dalia Aranki, NRC’s programme manager.
About the ICLA report
On 19 December, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) launched a new report, No Place Like Home: An Assessment of the Housing, Land and Property Rights of Palestinian Refugee Women in Camps and Gatherings in Lebanon.
Read IRIN News story on the report and the issues discussed here.
For more information, contact:
Advocacy and Information Advisor, Olivia Kalis mob: +96176777402
About NRC in Lebanon
NRC has been working in Lebanon since 2006, and has grown significantly since the start of the Syrian crisis. Through its core activities of Shelter, Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance and Education, NRC provides humanitarian assistance and protection to refugees from Syria, Lebanese host communities, as well as to the Palestinian and Iraqi refugees already living in the country.
In March 2012, NRC commenced its ICLA programme in Lebanon to provide information, counselling and legal assistance to refugees and displaced persons in Lebanon. Currently, ICLA has two main areas of work: (1) the Palestinian refugee response; and (2) the Syrian response.
ICLA activities throughout Lebanon include awareness-raising, legal information, legal counselling, referrals to other service providers, training, legal research and strengthening the provision of legal aid by working with lawyers, jurists and law students.