This film tells the story of the world’s worst refugee crisis from the perspective of impoverished local Jordanians in the town of Mafraq, northern Jordan, whose lives have been thrown into poverty and chaos by the influx of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees into their town.
More than 600,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Jordan, a country of just 6.5 million. The focus of media attention has been on the 120,000 refugees at the Za’atari refugee camp in Northern Jordan. But the majority of refugees are seeking accommodation in Jordan’s towns, particularly those in the north of Jordan near the Syrian border.
Tens of thousands of refugees have arrived in Mafraq alone, doubling the population of the small town. Overwhelmed with refugees, many residents of Mafraq can no longer afford to support their families, and face eviction from their homes. Water and electricity are becoming increasingly scarce.
This film tells the story of these people. In moving interviews with impoverished local people in their Mafraq homes, they explain that they face eviction from their homes if they cannot meet demands for large rent increases from their landlords.
With Syrians arriving in Jordan every day, the situation is rapidly deteriorating. If the rate of arrivals continues, there will soon be one Syrian refugee for every family in Jordan. This film raises awareness of this tragic situation before it’s too late.
Fatmeh Owaid (42) & Ali Suleiman Khaled (37)
Fatmeh and Ali, who have two children – one of whom is disabled – tell of how hard their life has become since the arrival of the Syrian refugees in their town. They face increased electricity and food costs, and difficulty in finding jobs, they are losing some of the support they had from local charities, and they have been threatened with eviction by their landlord if they cannot meet his demands to increase their rent.
Hanan Ahmed Jadaan (31)
Hanan, who has five children, one of whom has a disability, explains how she faces demands to increase her rent, and that she has been served with an eviction notice by her landlord. She was involved in a protest where local Jordanians set up their own camp to bring attention to their plight. Her husband, who also has a disability, is struggling to find any work.
Amal Awad Oden (32)
Amal, who has six children, one of whom has a disability, has been asked to more than double her rent payment. Her husband too has been unable to find a job.
Description of various shots in the video
• Various shots of: The Jordan-Syria border • Various shots of: The town of Mafraq and the road from Amman to Mafraq • Various shots of: Family homes in Mafraq • Various shots of: The city of Amman