As you walk down the alleyways of the Palestinian refugee camps across the Levant you often hear a curious refrain that the refugees utter in their alltoo- common moments of indignation and desperation: Ma alna al Allah w krt al mou’n (We have no recourse except God and the ration card). The refrain refers to the card that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) issued to the vast majority of Palestinians in the period after the Nakba. In the absence of a worldly solution to the seventy-year-old Palestinian question, those who dwell in the fifty-nine refugee camps administered by UNRWA find solace in the Almighty and hold tight to their UNRWA card – not only in order to receive rations to maintain their bare life but, more importantly, to claim their political status as refugees of a human-made calamity rather than victims of a natural disaster.
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