BEIRUT, 10 Aug 2006 (IRIN) - Following continued Israeli bombardment of southern Beirut, Abu Youssef and his family of nine left a relative's house in the southern district of Shyah in the middle of the night and headed to Sanayeh Gardens, a park in the centre of the capital that has become a shelter for the displaced.
This is the second time the family has been displaced, after fleeing their home in Harouf village, near Nabatyeh, 95km south of Beirut. Abu Youssef recounts this ordeal.
"I have no idea what has become our house in Harouf. We heard two of the villagers died in the raids. I was picking bomb remains from our porch before we left, but there is no one left back home to tell me if the house is still standing.
"When we left the suburbs [of south Beirut] we took nothing, nothing at all. When we saw the two buildings in Shyah collapse, we decided it was time to leave... again. One of my daughters-in-law is pregnant and the other gave birth to a baby girl 10 days ago, so I decided to send them both away to stay with relatives because they need more attention and rest than us. The rest of the children and my wife decided it was ok for us to stay here in the park.
"They [relief workers] wanted me to be transferred to a public school in Zghorta [80 km north Beirut] but I refused. Why would I go that far? To be separated from the rest of the family? Here we all share two mattresses, but I'd rather be hungry and cold than lose my wife and kids."
... Payvand News - 8/11/06 ... --