A general view of Nahr al-Bared camp, Friday, March 11, 2016. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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Unlike the ramshackle buildings, winding alleyways and snaking wires that are ubiquitous across Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps, Nahr al-Bared is filled with smartly painted apartment blocks and wide boulevards. From the inside of the new apartments, sunlight streams through the large windows, giving the rooms a warm glow despite the early February chill in the air. Over the course of three months in 2007, nearly 95 percent of the camp was razed to the ground and most of the near-20,000 residents were forced to flee.The stark contrast that Nahr al-Bared strikes with Lebanon's 12 other registered Palestinian refugee camps today is no accident.The commission aimed to map the entirety of the old camp.As each apartment block was being built, a validation process was also put in place to ensure that families had ongoing input into the work.There are complications, however, that simply can't be designed out of existence – one of them being the camp's economy.
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