ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 28 February – It’s back to school for thousands of Syrian children at Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan.
“I am more than happy to return to school and study. I love my teachers, my classes – and I really love my studies and the girls in my class,” said Arwa, a Syrian refugee child at the camp, with a joyful smile, on her return to school.
After a one-month winter break, class is in session again in Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan, bringing a sense of normality to Syrian refugee children.
AMMAN, JORDAN, 28 September 2012 – As I fill my bags to prepare for my departure back home, I have an overwhelming feeling of emptiness. I want to bring with me the family that crossed the Syrian-Jordanian border overnight, the mother holding her new born child under the Bedouin tent, the child that sells cigarettes to help his family, the child in a wheel chair with no place to go and all those frustrated by the inability of the international community to end the 18 month armed conflict.
DOHUK, Iraq, 22 August 2012- The first thing that strikes you as you walk into the Domiz refugee camp is the number of children – running, playing or just sitting by their tents. When I mention this to the local camp administrator, he tells me that almost all the Syrian refugee families that have been registered here are young; no family members are over 50.
BEQAA VALLEY, Syria, 27 July 2012 – “Why [do] all beautiful things have an end?” said 8-year-old Chadi* at the end of a five-week summer camp for Syrian refugee children and marginalized Lebanese children. “I was so happy here; I played, learned and made so many friends.”
The camp, organized by UNICEF and the Lebanese nongovernmental organization IQRA’ Association, offered a safe place for these children to learn, play and receive psychosocial support.
AMMAN, Jordan, 5 July 2012 – At a large primary school on the outskirts of the capital Amman, 11-year-old Basma* and her 7-year-old sister are among around 180 children, most of them Syrian refugees, taking part in a summer camp.
“The summer camp is very nice and fun, and I’ve made new friends here,” said Basma, who has a busy schedule of English, Arabic, math, science and physical education. Some 3,500 Syrian refugee children and 500 Jordanian children are attending summer camps at 40 schools throughout Jordan in a bid to catch up on lost classes and engage in recreational activities.
MAFRAQ/AMMAN, Jordan, 13 June 2012 – On their way to school in Homs last year, 9-year-old twins Seema* and Nour* saw dead bodies in the street.
“They came home very upset,” said their father, Amjad*. “Now they are afraid of loud noises.”
The two girls stopped going to school after that.
“It was impossible to stay in Homs, everything was getting worse and worse,” said their mother, Aya*. “We used to move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood to stay safe, but now it’s all destroyed and everywhere is insecure.”