Rehab Kanaan is a Palestinian poet living in Gaza. Rehab has lost 54 members of her family (the Hamza family) during the Lebanon Tal al-Za’atar massacre, in 1976, and the Sabra and Shatila massacre, in 1982.
Rehab was born in 1954 in Lebanon after her family was expelled following the Nakba, the violent creation of Israel atop the ruins of Palestinian towns and villages in 1948.
Her family lived in several areas of Lebanon before settling in the Tal al-Za’atar refugee camp in Beirut. In 1976, when the Lebanese Phalangist militias sieged the camp and stormed it, Rehab lost 51 family members, including her father, her mother, five brothers, and three sisters.
Six years later, the Phalanges, under the command of the Israeli army, stormed the two refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, killing over 3,000 Palestinians.
On that sad occasion, Rehab lost three more family members, including her son.
(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)