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Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 16:49 UK

Shatila stories: Ahmed Marwan Diab

Ahmed Marwan (Photo by Phil Coomes)

Ahmed Marwan, 12, is the grandson of a Palestinian refugee who was driven out of his village in 1948 when the Israeli state was founded. The village, Birwah, was subsequently demolished by the Israeli authorities. Ahmed and his father were born in Shatila refugee camp in Beirut.

I am in the sixth year of primary school, but I had to redo the first year because I failed my exams. But since then I have always worked hard and passed.

At the moment because it is school holidays I am working to help my dad. I am happy to help him because he works for our family and brings us food and good things.

FAMILY STORIES
Muhammad, Marwan and Ahmed in Shatila (Photo by Phil Coomes)

I don't want to travel away from home like he does. I don't want to go to Sweden. I want to stay here and for him to stay with us.

My friends are here and we spend our time playing football, which is my favourite activity.

I live here, in Lebanon, but I come from Birwah in Palestine. It is a little village near Akka (Acre).

I have never seen it, but I can imagine it as a beautiful green place, with flowers and trees. I hope it will be possible for me to return there, but there is war and Israel stops us from returning.

I don't usually talk about Palestine with my friends. At school the older students talk to us about Palestine though, and I want to play the same role when I am older.

We watch Palestinian TV, it is my favourite channel. I like the songs and stories they tell about Palestine and our leaders like Abu Ammar (Yasser Arafat).

It will be great when we return. Palestine is a beautiful land, with good people, and my family who are good people. I want to go back home.




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