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‘My children ask me, what is Syria?’ Za’atari refugee camp enters second decade |



Adil Tughan, a Syrian refugee in Camp Al Zaatari.

Adil Tughan, a Syrian refugee in Camp Al Zaatari., By Adil Tughan

Adil Toukan arrived at the Za’atari camp in April 2013, from the city of al-Sanamayn in the Daraa Governorate in southern Syria, with his wife and two young children.

Since then, he and his wife have three more children, knowing nothing about their homeland.

“My family and I went through a lot of suffering when we left Syria. We passed many security checkpoints and more than one country.

Stable life in terms of living conditions, security, infrastructure. Excellent educational situation [There are 32 schools in the camp, 58 community centres, and eight clinics in the camp].

Electricity is available for eight hours a day. There is a wastewater drainage network and a water supply network. There are asphalt roads and an internal transport network.

We want our children to have a better life than us, in terms of study, study and work.”


Ghasim Al-Lubbad, a Syrian refugee from Camp Zaatari.

Ghasim Al-Lubbad, a Syrian refugee from Camp Zaatari., By Adil Tughan

‘No one came here voluntarily’

Qassim Lubbad, from Daraa province, arrived at the camp in May 2013. He is not optimistic about the situation in Syria.

“Certainly no one came here voluntarily. I come from Syria with five children and have three children here in the camp.

People come because they are forced to seek safety and security. There has been suffering. Families have taken different paths. It took us over 72 hours to move from village to village until we reached the border and entered Jordan.

When I tell my children about Syria, and tell them we have family there, they ask me: What is Syria? I explained that a war had broken out, and we arrived at camp. I told them that staying here in the camp was not our option: when things calm down and the security situation improves, we will return to Syria.

They asked me about their future here and if they would finish their education and then get married and own a home here. I answered them that the matter is not in our hands, but in God’s hands, and as long as we come without planning in advance, we can also return to Syria without prior planning.” .

I hope that the situation will change for the better. I miss everything in Syria: air and water, childhood, memories, parents and relatives”.


Ghena Adil Tughan, a Syrian refugee from Camp Zaatari in Jordan.

Ghena Adil Tughan, a Syrian refugee from Camp Zaatari in Jordan., By Adil Tughan

‘I want to be a policewoman to serve my people’

More than 20,000 births have been registered in Za’atari since it opened a decade ago. A whole generation of children grew up there, and camp became their world.

Ghina, 10 years old, was born in Syria and moved with her family to Za’atari camp when she was 6 months old.

“I am in third grade. I love the school here. I like math and English, but my favorite subject is Arabic. My dream is to be a policewoman when I grow up, because I want to serve my people.

I miss my grandparents very much. They are still in Syria. I talk to them every day, they show me pictures of our house and tell me about the past. I am very pleased to see them. “


Mohammed Gasim Al-Lubbad, a young refugee from the Zaatari camp in Jordan.

Mohammed Gasim Al-Lubbad, a young refugee from the Zaatari camp in Jordan., By Adil Tughan

‘The situation in Syria is not good’

Fourteen-year-old Muhammad came to the camp at the age of four. He said he missed the camp.

I know that we came to the camp looking for safety and security. I don’t want to go back to Syria because the situation is not good.

I want to be a doctor in the future, because medicine is a beautiful and good profession.”



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