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One family, three women, 70 years in exile

The collective story of being a female Palestinian refugee in Lebanon as seen through the lives of a family of women.


Beirut, Lebanon – On a June morning in 1982, Leila Balqees joined her amputee father to watch the news on TV, as he did every day.

For Leila, who was 17 and engaged at the time, that day had started out just like any other in Burj Barajneh, a cramped Palestinian refugee camp on the southern edge of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.

It soon turned into a nightmare.

“The strikes started coming, left right and centre on the entire camp,” recalls Leila, now 56.

On that day, Israel launched a fierce aerial and ground assault, claiming it was to push Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) fighters away from its northern borders.

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