LEBANON: Every Circle of Hell

Tel Zaatar

Your walls have become the

people's newspaper.

The bomb in your hand explodes

into a poem.

The tresses of all the women of

the earth yearn to become

your flag.

All the books of poetry dream of

becoming exploding mines

under your soil.

—Moayin Bseisso, Palestinian poet, 1976

Even in the best of times, the refugee camp at Tel Zaatar, meaning Hill of Thyme, was a terrible place to live. An island of sweltering poverty not far from the high-rises of Beirut's Christian merchants, it had no modern plumbing, and water had to be drawn...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!