Reconstruction in Nahr al-Bared, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (The Daily Star/Finbar Anderson)
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The winding streets of the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp are reproduced in precise detail on the walls of the small office that John Whyte occupies there.Reconstruction has been underway for over a decade, and 70 percent of the camp is due to be completed by March next year.However, Nahr al-Bared faces challenges that other camps do not.While the other 11 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are run by Palestinian factions, to uphold security after the 2007 war the Lebanese state bought the land on which the camp sits, and the Lebanese Army controls the entrances. The government stipulated that to minimize future security concerns, each building must be no more than four stories, or 12 meters high, and there must be 3 meters between each block to enable security access.UNRWA endeavors to build apartments as they existed before the war.Twenty minutes' drive south of Nahr al-Bared, in Beddawi, the claustrophobic, dark streets and vertiginous buildings are much more typical of Lebanon's Palestinian camps.As Beddawi's population has increased, buildings have gone higher.
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