Egypt: Marooned in the desert

Published: 22/May/2015
Source: Slate

Sixty-seven years after the Arab-Israeli War, 3,000 Palestinians remain forgotten and stateless in rural Egypt.

By Emily Crane

JEZIRET EL FADL, Egypt—Ghafra dreams of rain. Not the brief bursts of precipitation that mix with the desert dust here a few times a year, but real rain, the kind that makes the worms come out and the watermelons grow, the kind that only falls on one place on God’s Earth: Palestine.

The last time Ghafra saw that kind of rain, she was 13. It was just before the soldiers came, droves of them from the north, west, and south. They left only one path open for Ghafra’s people to escape: west. West to safety, west to Egypt.* They planned to only stay a few months, waiting out the end of the fighting.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Naturalisation and Marriage, Nationality and Refugees, Statelessness
Regions: North Africa, Egypt
Year: 2015