Wadi Al-Salaam: The Largest Cemetery in The World via Amusing Planet
Wadi us-Salaam, which literally means the Valley of Peace, is an Islamic cemetery located in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq. The cemetery covers an area of 1485.5 acres and contains millions of bodies, making it one of the strongest contender for the title of the largest graveyard on earth. Najaf itself is one of Iraq’s biggest cities, with a population of nearly 600,000. But the adjoining city of the dead holds the remains of millions, stretching for up to 10km along the valley. Wadi Al-Salam cemetery is also the only cemetery in the world where the process of burial is still continuing to day since more than 1,400 years.
all my family is buried here. it’s mind boggling you see, you can literally get lost in this place; it’s like a whole nother city.
On May 15, 1948, 65 years ago Jewish Zionist militias launched a massive attack on the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine to ethnically cleanse them from their land in order to establish Israel as their Jewish state. This lead more than 750,000 Palestinians to flee their homes and become displaces as refugees in the neighboring countries. Most of the families that fled did not even have time to pack their belonging or anything in fear of being massacred by the vicious Jewish militias who went through villages massacring its inhabitants who refused to leave, most of whom were poor villagers and unarmed farmers.
“We must do everything to insure they never return. The old will die and the young will forget” David Ben-Gurion – First Prime Minister of Israel, 1949.
We won’t forget. We won’t forgive. And one day, soon, we will return!
Today, May 15th .2013 Marks the 65 anniversary of the Nakba .
What is Nakba ? Nakba means “Catastrophe” in Arabic. It refers to the destruction of Palestinian society in 1948 when more than 750,000 Palestinians were forced into exile by Israeli troops. Because the Palestinians were not Jewish, their presence and predominant ownership of the land were obstacles to the creation of a Jewish state. Nakba, was already nearly half-complete by May 1948, when Israel declared its independence and the Arab states entered the fray.
Many Zionist leaders in Palestine openly favored “transfer” of the indigenous Palestinian population. Zionist forces used clashes that erupted as the British Mandate of Palestine came to an end in 1947-48 to rid as much of the land of its Palestinian inhabitants as possible. By the end of 1948, more than 750,000 Palestinians - two-thirds of the Palestinian population - fled in panic or were forcibly expelled. It is estimated that more than 50 percent fled under direct military assault. Others fled in panic as news of massacres - more than 100 civilians in the village of Deir Yassin and 200 in Tantura — spread.
Zionist forces depopulated more than 450 Palestinian towns and villages, most of which were demolished to prevent the return of the refugees. (Figures of the number of towns and villages destroyed and depopulated vary. The Israeli daily Haaretz reports 530 lost villages.)
These comprised three-quarters of the Palestinian villages inside the areas held by Israeli forces after the end of the war. The newly established Israeli government confiscated refugees’ land and properties and turned them over to Jewish immigrants. Although Jews owned only about seven percent of the land in Palestine and constituted about 33 percent of the population, Israel was established on 78 percent of Palestine and the rest were taken in 1976 .
The Palestinian population worldwide is estimated 11.6 million by the end of 2012 , they’re waiting for the day of the return as they keep their house keys that was taken from them .
Lest we forget.
Photo: A young refugee in Domeez camp, where more than 55,000 people have settled. Iraq 2013 © Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF
People have lost their identity. Older men cannot find their place in society and in the family. They have lost their job or stopped being a fighter. Maybe they have responsibility for a family but they have had to move house several times in quick succession.“I don’t have to find them; they come and ask for help …”
I don’t have to find them; they come and ask for help, saying things like, “I’m starting to be violent towards my wife and children. Please help me, I cannot be like that.”
Psychologist Audrey Magis recently returned home after spending two months working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Syria, where she set up and ran a mental health program in one of MSF’s projects in the north of the country. Magis, who had previously worked for MSF in Gaza, Libya, and in a camp for Syrian refugees, explains how the war has affected people and what MSF is doing to help.
You know what it’s like when you don’t have the right tools for the job?
We do - because to protect children right now, we have to use vaccines that aren’t well suited to the job they have to do. We need better-adapted vaccines to reach the one in five children currently unprotected by full immunisation.
Find out more: msfaccess.org/vaccines
It hasn’t been that long since I finished uni but this article reaaaaalllllly speaks to me as I am in the process of learning most of these lessons at work :)