When visiting the Al-Aroub refugee camp, a kid in the street told our guide his father spoke English. Dr. Hasan invited us in for coffee. His whole family was in the large first room – two other men, three women and about five kids. So much was happening that I did not realize until several minutes in that there was also an elderly woman lying on a couch in the far corner of the room. Dr. Hasan said this was his ill mother who he had discharged yesterday and was now recovering at home. Two photos of his father were on the wall.
Dr. Hasan was born in the camp. His father was originally from Iraq al-Manshiyya (now Kiryat Gat) and kids brought out a map.
He has Palestinian and also Jordanian citizenship, but he notes that it is more difficult for people from the camps than from the cities or the villages. He says this is because the people in the cities have not had to move. He studied in Russia and also Italy and visited Wisconsin briefly. His kids go to the UNRWA school until eighth grade, and then will go to the government school which is outside of the camp. It’s a little bit of a distance.
I would have loved to have heard how he got his education, and how typical or not it is for someone born in the camp to have Jordanian citizenship and how he got it. I asked him what brought him home; he said caring for elderly parents.