a home shared by two families (13 people) in the mafraq tent camp. this family’s tent sits within sight of the zaatari refugee camp, the perimeter of which is visible in the distance.
4.21.2016 3:17 pm
while over 85,000 syrian refugees are currently living in the zaatari camp this accounts for only about 13% of the 638,000 + syrians in jordan. the great majority are making due in random, makeshift tent camps or struggling to survive within the towns and cities of the jordanian kingdom.
while in jordan, i had the opportunity to travel to the area of mafraq and be introduced to several syrian families who have, for years, been living in tents set up on small patches of land. these tents are home to anywhere from a few individuals to many generations of one family to numerous families living together due to the lack of any other option.
syrian refugees have no rights in jordan. as a result, they are not legally permitted to work, have little to no access to healthcare and get by on coupons provided by the jordanian government. these coupons are good for basic needs, but anything outside of those needs requires cash. unable to work legally the only way to obtain cash is to work illegally or to sell the items that they are able to obtain through the government coupons.
while the individual stories differ the situation is shockingly similar for all. each person that i met has left behind a life where they were a doctor, an engineer, a teacher, a student, a husband, wife or a young child when the fighting and shelling became too much and the decision was made to flee. each of them has left everything behind. homes, cars, friends, clothing, memories … life as they have known it for most of their existence.
amira, sara, riham, and halid peer into the tent where 13 members of two families share the small space. both families fled syria in 2013 when shellings and bombs began to fall near their homes.
04.21.16 3:37 pm
halid, father of four, sits in a neighbors home within the mafraq tent camps
4.21.16 3:21 pm
the makeshift kitchen and washroom inside of a tent shared by 13 members of two families. there is no running water and electricity is only available when it can be diverted from nearby power sources.
04.21.16 4:11 pm
an area within a family tent that doubles as a place for bathing and a toilet.
4.21.16 4:11 pm
4.21.16 4:07 pm
khalid and his three daughters, junah, lubna and mina
04.21.16 5:21 pm
bassel, age 11, and alaa, age 9; the two young boys became fast friends over a shared love of futbol
children play on the land that surround several family "home" in the mafraq random tent camps
4.21.16 3:37 pm
the sun sets on another day in the mafraq tent camps
04.21.16 6:44 pm
halid walks “home” to his tent after running an errand for his father. when asked what his hope for the future was halid wants only for the fighting to stop so that he can go back to syria, return to school and see his friends again.