Raising Spirits Inside the Aida Camp Is as Easy as Growing a Rooftop Garden
A man by the name of Salah Ajarma who lives in the Bethlehem’s refugee camp, Aida. Aida is home to 4,000 to 5,000 people. Those people live directly onto of one another in a very small home that only lengthen vertically. Mr. Ajarma is the current Director of the Lajee Center. This is a civic based group that will work with children in the camp and works to help keep the refugee’s connection rights, land, and history.
Just about two years ago the camp had found the funding to help make the rooftop gardens within the camp. It was a very small project but with its growth people loved it. They needed to do something to care for people who were at the home with nothing to do and to support relationships within the civic.
One of the people who currently have a rooftop garden is Mohammad Amar. He was born in the Aida Camp. His father was involuntarily removed from the community of Ras Abu Amar in the year, 1948. Awana had open heart surgery that has kept him from being able to work. His rooftop greenhouse is what helps keep him active.
The rooftop garden helps him support his family. He grows lettuce, spinach, herbs and onions. His father had a lot of land in Ras Abu Ammar but since he was forced to leave they will never be able to ever see it. He is restricted to seeing only concrete houses and the Apartheid Wall in Israel.
In the Aida Camp, there are eight rooftop gardens. Currently, there is one that is being built on the top of Lajee Center. The garden will teach the camps children on how to develop and grow vegetables later in life. There are plans in the making that will help build another rooftop garden to the top of the center. This particular garden will be shared by three different families who do not have a proper roof for a garden.
The original refugees are dying. This is the time that they must develop the projects in which to defend the history and rights. Ajarma said that they cannot let the knowledge die off with the original refugees. In a particular small way, the project will help make the Palestine green.