I was searching my brain, trying to think of something to blog about but was coming up empty. Then I hopped on twitter and saw a tweet from Aramex "If you're in #Lebanon and would like to donate books and games to a library in Nahr Al Bard, drop us a line! http://bit.ly/f66L3K"
Not long before I finished up my job with UNRWA in Tripoli on the Nahr al-Bared camp (NBC) reconstruction project, my boss made me the point person for this project with Aramex. At that time, Aramex were going to donate money to create a mobile library for NBC. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and um-ing and ah-ing and it turned out that my time was up before any real progress was made. So I was delighted to read that a (stationary) library has been established for the residents of NBC, which you can read about on the link above. There are so many smart young people living in the camp that don't have access to many books, so this library will hopefully provide a safe space where people of all ages can learn, whether for school or for fun. I know there are a few people who read this in Lebanon, so if you're able to donate some books to the library I'm sure they'll be much appreciated!
And while I'm on a bit of an NBC flashback, the documentary "Nahr al-Bared: Checkpoints and More" is a year old now, but it's an interesting look into the difficulties of recovery in the camp. If you've got a spare 30 minutes and you're interested in Palestine refugees then I'm sure you'll find it to be a good insight.
Though I only left Lebanon about 8 months ago it seems like it was a different lifetime. But every so often when a warm breeze catches my ankles, I think back to afternoons spent on the balcony watching the Mediterranean with an icy Almaza in hand. Life in Lebanon was good for me, if only it were as good for everyone.
UPDATE: Yassmin just put the following link up on facebook, to an article in the Daily Star (with one of my favourite colleagues pictured on the far right, he's an absolute champ) about the progress of the reconstruction. I can't wait to see some photos of the first finished package (remembering that there are 8 in total, with funding only secured for three) and hope the publicity from the opening of package 1 will lead to an increase in funding. It's almost been four years since the residents of NBC were forced to abandon their homes. Four. Years.