Growing Up in a Palestinian Refugee Camp

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A displaced Palestinian boy from Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip stands on July 23, 2014 in front of a mural painting at a UN school in the refugee camp of Jabalia. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty)

The violence rages on in Israel and Palestine this week. Just yesterday, 17 people were killed and 160 wounded in an Israeli airstrike that hit a fruit and vegetable stand near Gaza City. In a separate attack yesterday, a United Nations school in Gaza filled with civilians was hit by Israeli artillery, killing an additional 16 people. 

More than 1,300 Palestinians and 58 Israelis have now died in the conflict.

Amid the escalating humanitarian crisis, we hear from a woman who was born and raised in a refugee camp in Gaza.

Ghada Ageel is a visiting professor of political science at the University of Alberta, but before she had the opportunity to study and leave the region, her home was the Khan Younis Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. She is a third generation Palestinian refugee—her parents and grandparents have also lived in refugee camps in Gaza.

Ghada describes what her life was like growing up as a refugee in Gaza.

Ghada Ageel
Ghada Ageel's home in the Khan Younis Refugee Camp.
Ghada Ageel's grandmother's home in the Khan Younis Refugee Camp.
Kids in the Khan Younis Refugee Camp.
Kids in the Khan Younis Refugee Camp.
Behind Ghada Ageel's home.
Children in Ghada Ageel's family singing.
Ghada Ageel's grandmother.


Ghada Ageel

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Megan Quellhorst


T.J. Raphael

Comments [10]

RobertM from Atlanta

I agree with Noelle; the interviewer gave her a pass on the issue of whether Hamas is to blame for her condition. The reality is that the people of Gaza elected a leader/party whose central platform is to conduct war with Israel. Her country will be at war with Israel as long as Hamas runs Gaza, and no country at war can allow open borders with the country with which they are at war.

The terminology also leads to lots confusion. She defines "occupation" as Israel occupying Gaza, which it does not do. Hamas defines "occupation" as Israel occupying Israel.

Aug. 05 2014 08:48 AM

Israel doesn't need to build tunnels ... It has jet fighters, rockets, tanks , warships ...what else does Israel need to carry out its massacre .
The interview bias same as America is totally bias supporting Israel with weapons and money. As a US citizen I Dont authorize my government to donate my hard earned money to support killing of Gaza children.
Ageel talked about the occupation since the 70s please clear your ears and listen again also if you wanna tackle the issue stick to the main point. End occupation and stop Israel crimes against humanity . Palestinians deserve to live in dignity same as any other people. Enough is enough.

Aug. 03 2014 12:30 AM

After reading the article and comments, I agree with Noelle.
The Palestinians have let the Hamas take control. They are not interested in Peace in the Middle East .
Every time there is a humanitarian cease fire..they break it !!!
For Peace Israel needs a partner and it isn't with the Palestinians.

Aug. 01 2014 08:34 AM
Dania from Toronto

For the first time you bring a true voice of Palestinians. Thank you.

Jul. 31 2014 11:29 PM

I feel for this woman and how she had to live. I had to wonder, however, why she didn't talk about Egypt, Egypt's boycotts or the fact that Egypt hasn't opened it's border. But I kept listening to hear Ido Aharoni. When Todd commented, several times, that Israel's response to the missiles was "disproportionate" I was incensed. When someone tries to stab you with a knife, if you've got a gun in your pocket aren't you going to shoot? Israel is being attacked by Hamas which is powered by Iran and they want Israel and the Jewish people gone. Even on this page, Ghada Ageel, has a picture and summary but Aharoni isn't even mentioned. This is biased reporting.

Jul. 31 2014 10:44 PM
Nasser Mandy from Cananda

THis is a wonderful first hand account of what is happening in Gaza. Thank you for giving the platform to this Palestinian to talk. It is important to listen to the narrative of both sides and to stuck on one side story as main stream media always do. Thank you

Jul. 31 2014 06:57 PM
MW from California

During the interview, Ms. Ageel said that the occupation has been going on for 66 years. That would mean 1948, the founding of the state of Israel. Israel did not control Gaza until after the 1967 war, 47 years ago. Unless this was an unintentional mix up, she seems the occupation she want to end is the existence of Israel.

Jul. 31 2014 04:43 PM
Steve MacIntyre

How unspeakably difficult it must be for Gazans living in the "largest open-air prison in the world", blockaded and controlled by Israel, and militarily attacked every two or three years from air, land and sea.

Israel does all it can to blind the world to the horrors it inflicts on the Palestinian people, which is why an interview such as this one is so important.

Jul. 31 2014 02:21 PM

Everything this woman claimed during the interview was contradicted by her own life. She claims she could not go to university yet she is a professor and her brother is a doctor! She claims those living in Gaza are prisoners yet she managed to get to Canada. To top it off, the phony crying that stopped on a dime when the rule of HAMAS was questioned was annoying. Most absurd had to be the claim that Israel was to blame because she could not breast feed. Come on- plenty of women in America are unable to get home to baby at scheduled feeding time - thats why they invented breast pumps. The entire segment sounded like a report from "the Onion".

Jul. 31 2014 01:44 PM
Noelle from South Florida

I found this interview very biased. On the one hand, you let this woman carry on about how she couldn't get any education in Gaza (she blamed it on Israel, not the Palestinian government) yet she somehow managed to be a professor?

You completely let her off the hook with regard to the intent of Hamas, which is to destroy Israel. She evaded question completely and then you went down the line of questioning about how disporportionate the response by Israel is, clearly a biased view of events.

I'd like to point out to you that Israel is not amassing weapons and building tunnels to wipe out Gaza. Israel does not have a charter that says that the Palestinians need to be destroyed. If the Palestinian people were capable of electing a government that was not hostile to Israel, they could have peace. You allowed this guest to manipulate half-truths to cover up the real intent of her Palestinian government, which is the destruction of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

Jul. 31 2014 10:29 AM

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