Tags / Mafraq
This short film reveals the untold story of the devastating impact that the Syrian refugee crisis is having on the most vulnerable people in Jordan.
It tells the story of the world’s worst refugee crisis from a unique perspective: that of the local Jordanians whose lives have been thrown into poverty and chaos by the influx of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees into their towns and cities.
By the end of 2013, more than 600,000 Syrian refugees had arrived in Jordan, a country of just 6.5 million.
Their towns overwhelmed with refugees, many Jordanians can no longer afford to support their families, and face eviction from their homes. Water and electricity are becoming increasingly scarce.
In moving interviews with impoverished local people in the towns of Mafraq and Ramtha, I was told how rents are tripling, people face eviction from their homes, and tension and violence are growing.
With Syrians arriving in Jordan every day, the situation is rapidly deteriorating. If the rate of arrivals continues, by the end of the year, there will be one Syrian refugee for every family in Jordan.
This short film is the basis for a 20-30 minute documentary that is currently in post-production. This documentary is independently produced and I am looking for broadcast outlets for this piece.
If you are interested in purchasing either the short film or the documentary, please get in touch.
On child marriage in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan.
A Quran is placed above the entrance of the tent that Samir prays in, he cannot walk without assistance to the mosque built by the NGOs so he has made this area his devotion area.
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
During US President Barack Obama's visit to Jordan, King Abdullah II vowed to keep the Kingdom's borders open after announcing that more than 460,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Jordan since the conflict began. The influx is projected to cost the Kingdom $550 million dollars a year, however the number of refugees are expected to double by the end of the year.
Video journalist Amy Hybels traveled to Mafraq and the Za'atari refugee camp to see how the Syrian refugees living both inside and outside of the largest camp are coping.
Syrian Families at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan
Many children help their mothers by fetching water for washing and cooking from WASH units and water tanks set up throughout the camp. The WASH stations are coordinated by Unicef and checked twice a day, though many Syrians complain that the water is dirty. November 8, 2012.
Malak, 4, exhausted from the frightening journey the night before, sleeps in her cousin’s tent. Malak arrived at Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp before daylight on a bus with her mother, Jameela, from Dara’a, where Jameela was finally reunited with the rest of her family, her husband and two sons on November 1, 2012.
Sunrise in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees now estimates that over 47,000 displaced Syrians live in Zaatari refugee camp. This camp population is included in the total 275,000 estimated to be living in Jordan by the government. But despite the hardships of a desert camp in winter, daily life continues. Marriages, births, children playing and people calling home to check on loved ones still in Syria - this is Zaatari. Oct. 31, 2012.
A woman washes her family’s clothes in a basin in the bathroom provided by Unicef in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp. The woman did not want to give her name, but she complained, “Look, the water, it’s dirty,” she said. This particular area includes shower stalls, toilets, basins, and one long steel metal sink. Not only does this serve as a wash and restroom, but also a place where women can get their hair cut.
Ahmad, 11, stands next to his mother Naghareesh, 42, in the trailer where he and his seven other siblings live in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp. His father, Assad Abderaheem, was killed seven months ago while fighting with the Free Syria Army in Dara’a. Ahmad’s brother Mohammad, 16, was leaving on this day to go back to Syria and fight with the FSA as his father did. “When I signed for Mohammad [to go back to Syria], my heart was breaking. But there’s nothing I can do,” Naghareesh said on October 31, 2012.
There are shower stalls and basins set up in the WASH stations coordinated by Unicef throughout the camp, but according to this Syrian mother pictured, sometimes it is easier for women to wash their small children outside their tents in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp with UNHCR-issued buckets. October 31, 2012.
Noor, 4, leans against her mother, Masura, 38, as she crouches to make tea in the makeshift kitchen in her family’s tent in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp on October 31, 2012. Many women in the camp have gotten creative like Masura, building shelves to hold supplies and creating closets out of strings to store clothing. “I don’t like it here. I’d like to be in Jordan as a refugee, but not in Zaatari. It’s a dusty desert. I am always cleaning,” Masura said.
Samir and his two daughters both are engaged to marry men the refuged from their hometown of Darraa, Syria that live inside the Zaatari Refugee camp, Mafraq, Jordan Oct 30, 2012.
A brother in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp holds his infant sister in his arms, whose hand and arm was seriously burned in their tent when she was crawling in the tent and knocked over a pot of boiling tea. October 29, 2012
The newly-built kitchens in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp have been something many women point to as a redeeming quality of the camp, finally giving them an outlet to provide for their families and enjoy the communal atmosphere among other women cooking. But though many refugees are able to use these kitchens built for the now more than 40,000-strong population in the camp, there are still are some that are not yet functional. October 29, 2012.
Though these women have a functional kitchen in their “neighborhood” in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, Masoura, 38, and her two other neighbors from Daraa gather about once a week, depending on the weather, to make their own bread on a larger stove. After they cook the bread, they split the pile into three, each taking their share for their family. October 29, 2012.
Refugees are raising the free Syrian flag like this one outside of Abu Hamed's families tent where ever they can in the Zaatari camp. This flag was the cause of many violent protests when the Jordanian security forces tried to take it down, claiming it was not allowed in the camp. They have become more lenient towards the symbol of a free Syria and more refugees are raising the flag on their streets and painting their tents with the symbol of hope for their future. Oct. 27, 2012.
Samir, father of eight, spent seven years in the Syrian Army only to be shot in the front of his home in-front of his family for asking Syrian soldiers why they were questioning him. He is now living with the bullet lodged inches away from his spine making the left side of his body inactive. He remains hopeful to leave soon and thankful for his Jordanian brothers. Oct. 26, 2012.
Samir resting in his UNHCR provided tent with his 1 year old daughter Zanib who he snuck across the Syrian border at night to avoid the Syrian armies patrols that are known to shoot at refugees crossing the border illegally. The tents are the only shade from the scorching Jordanian desert sun.
Waleed's sons Awad, 1o , and Talal, watch cartoons in their makeshift home in Mafraq, Jordan.
Waleed, 39, hides behind his son Talal in order to conceal his identity to protect relatives back in native Syria. Waleed and his family of six escaped Homs and were smuggled into Jordan with the aid of the Syrian Free Army
From the safety of his small living room, Waleed, a Syrian from Homs, talks about escaping with his family to the north Jordanian town of Mafraq.