Reporters on the Job: It was sobering to walk around the flattened, bulldozed wasteland that is today the heart of the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon. When I was there 18 months ago, the heart of the camp was still a pile of rubble from bombed buildings where the militant group Fatah al-Islam dug in during their battle with the Lebanese Army in 2007.
Now all the battle-shattered buildings have been bulldozed to form a five-meter-high plateau on which the new camp will be built. (Read the Monitor's report here.) Mixed into the compacted earth are scraps of clothing, broken china, and other mementos of the human tragedy.
The pages of a small mud-encrusted photo album flapped in the cold breeze, displaying pictures of a young family relaxing on a sandy beach. There was also a sign of the violence that wracked the camp – the end of a rifle grenade lying on the ground.