‘The displacement virus is much stronger than the coronavirus’: Reflections from Burj el-Barajneh and Baqa’a Camps in Lebanon and Jordan -refugeehosts.org
What roles do communal solidarity and sociality play in spaces such as the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan during the COVID-19 pandemic? This question is examined by Samar Maqusi, who draws on conversations with camp residents Abu Mohammad and Abu Ahmad, to reflect on the ‘socially conscious’ creativity developing and responding to the pandemic. Maqusi argues that UNRWA has failed to understand the needs of the camps and their residents and, in the face of inadequate support from the Lebanese state, she describes how camp residents are ensuring that food and other provisions are distributed through a ‘body of trust’, providing examples of social solidarity. Maqusi goes on to argue that, during a time when deep rooted inequalities are further revealed and remain unaddressed throughout the pandemic, what is needed is a commitment to develop a collective imagination based on solidarity, for a better future.