Lebanon News

Palestinian students protest UNRWA funding cuts in Ain al-Hilweh

Students release white doves at UNRWA solidarity protest in Ain al-Hilweh on Mar. 1, 2018. (The Daily Star/ Mohammed Zaatari)

SIDON, Lebanon: Hundreds of uniformed students demonstrated in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp Thursday to protest against recent U.S. funding cuts to the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees.

Children wore traditional keffiyehs and waved Palestinian flags, with some holding blue balloons and posters with slogans supporting UNRWA’s ‘‘Dignity is Priceless” fundraising campaign, launched in January to raise $500 million after the United States’ decision to cut tens of millions of dollars of aid money to the agency.

Demonstrators led by the student bodies of nine UNRWA schools inside Ain al-Hilweh chanted “dignity is priceless” and “we want to learn” as they rallied across the camp, releasing white doves as a symbol for peace. “We are birds of peace. Do not deprive us of flying with the wings of knowledge,” read one of the posters.

Coordinator for the fundraising campaign Ahmad al-Lababidi told The Daily Star, "We have 525,000 Palestinian students in the five countries where UNRWA operates. Their education is at risk due to the lack of donations."





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