Melissa Tabeek Melissa Tabeek

Melissa Tabeek is a freelance journalist currently based in Beirut, Lebanon. Previously while based in Jordan, she reported on politics, culture and refugees. A former Peace Corps volunteer, she has previously lived in Kazakhstan, and traveled extensively abroad. While pursing her master’s degree at Northeastern University, Melissa worked as an intern at Watchdog New England, Northeastern’s initiative for investigative journalism; at the same time she worked at the Dorchester Reporter, a newspaper covering Boston’s largest neighborhood. On a personal level, she enjoys being out of her element and finding the rare opportunity to practice her Kazakh.

Collections created

Media created

Thumb sm
A Syrian born in Jordan
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
25 Nov 2012

On November 25, a healthy baby girl named Rasmeen was brought into the world with the help of a doctor and nurses at Akilah Hospital in Amman, Jordan. Rasmeen’s mother Hanadi, 25, slept on a hospital bed enclosed by curtains after her delivery while her new daughter was brought into a room of tiny, crying newborns. The infant’s father, Ibrahim Al Olga, 31, knocked on the glass window of the nursery separating him and his new child and asked a nurse to show him his daughter.

Though Ibrahim and Hanadi have two other young boys, the birth marked a new experience for them. Rasmeen is their first child born outside their home country of Syria.

Thumb sm
After The Protest
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

After a protest of a few hundred people in Al-Nuzha Circle in Hussein Camp — an area that was originally a Palestinian refugee camp — the unrest moved up to Al-Nuzha Police Station on Jordan Street at about 10:30 p.m. on November 16, where rocks were launched at the building and the people in front of it, including regime loyalists who were in cars in front of the police station, by around 200 people from different surrounding areas. Police retaliated by firing warning shots with live ammunition. Riot police showed up minutes later with two vehicles to shore up the area, before going into the protest at the end of the street to disperse the crowd with tear gas.

Thumb sm
We Love King Abdullah
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

Taxis joined the line of a pro-regime car rally in Amman, Jordan on November 16 in the Hussein neighborhood. The men sang and celebrated the King Abdullah II during a time when there has been unprecedented public dissent against the King, with demonstrations throughout the country calling for an end to his reign.

Thumb sm
Long Live Jordan
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

A young man waves the Jordanian flag from a car in a line of dozens on November 16. The cars, decorated with Jordanian flags, as well as photos of King Abdullah II, his father and son, were driven by loyalists to the King. The cars blared music, beeped their horns and chanted pro-Abdullah slogans as they created a gridlock in a busy traffic circle in the Hussein neighborhood in Amman, Jordan.

Thumb sm
Line Up
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

Riot police line up at the end of the protest where than an estimated 10,000 people gathered at Husseini Mosque in downtown Amman, Jordan to call for an end to King Abdullah II's reign. No serious clashes between police and protestors occurred on November 16.

Thumb sm
A Lingering Protest
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

After the protest, where an estimated more than 10,000 people gathered at Husseini Mosque in downtown Amman, Jordan to call for reform and the fall of King Abdullah II, ended, another small group of regime loyalists chanted and waved photos of the King and his father, King Hussein, in the air on November 16.

Thumb sm
Loyalists on Friday
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

The small crowd of regime loyalists were outnumbered by the more than estimated 10,000 people gathered at Husseini Mosque after Friday prayer in downtown Amman, Jordan, calling for reform and the fall of King Abdullah II on November 16. While pro-reform demonstrators chanted "Freedom, freedom, down with King Abdullah," a crime punishable by three years in jail, those supportive of King Abdullah II replied, "Long live the King!"

Thumb sm
Loyal to the King
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

Police form a line to keep the small group of regime loyalists demonstrating on November 16 at the Husseini Mosque in downtown Amman, Jordan. A crowd estimated to be more than 10,000 chanted for reform and the end to King Abdullah's reign, a crime punishable by three years in prison.

Thumb sm
Form a Line
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

In order to keep the crowd of more than 10,000 that had gathered at Husseini Mosque in downtown Amman from erupting into chaos, men from the crowd joined hands in a line to keep angry protestors from clashing with the riot police behind them on November 16.

Thumb sm
A Push by the Crowd
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
17 Nov 2012

Just before 2 p.m., the crowd of more than 10,000 people pushed against the line of riot police at Husseini Mosque after Friday prayer in downtown Amman, Jordan on November 16. Demonstrators called for reform and the fall of King Abdullah II. Insulting the King or calling for an end to his rule is a crime punishable by jail in Jordan.

Thumb sm
A Crowd of Thousands
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

More than an estimated 10,000 people gathered at Husseini Mosque after Friday prayer in downtown Amman, Jordan, calling for reform and the fall of King Abdullah II on November 16. "Freedom, freedom, down with King Abdullah," they chanted, an unprecedented display of dissent that is punishable by jail.

Thumb sm
Police Position
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

Riot police talk as they arrange themselves in lines, acting as human barricades to hold the more than 10,000 demonstrators who gathered after Friday prayer on November 16, calling for government reform and an unprecedented display of public dissent against the King, chanting slogans such as that he should "reform or leave."

Thumb sm
The view from the rooftops.
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

Riot police stood in lines separating the more than an estimated 10,000 people gathered at Husseini Mosque after Friday prayer in downtown Amman, Jordan, from the small group of regime loyalists. Demonstrators called for reform and the fall of King Abdullah II, an unprecedented public display of dissent that is punishable by jail.

Thumb sm
Long Live the King
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

A small group of loyalists to King Abdullah II's regime also demonstrated at the 10,000-strong Friday protest in downtown Amman, Jordan on November 16, chanting slogans such as "Long live the King."

Thumb sm
Police Stand Strong
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

Hundreds of riot police numbered among the estimated 10,000 people gathered at Husseini Mosque in downtown Amman, Jordan, calling for reform and the fall of King Abdullah II. There were no serious clashes between demonstrators and police.

Thumb sm
Calling for Peace and Strikes.
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

More than an estimated 10,000 people gathered at Husseini Mosque in downtown Amman, Jordan, calling for reform and the fall of King Abdullah II. Two men hold signs calling for peace and a general strike on Friday.

Thumb sm
A Smile in a Crowd of Dissent
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
16 Nov 2012

More than an estimated 10,000 people gathered at Husseini Mosque after Friday prayer in downtown Amman, Jordan, calling for reform and the fall of King Abdullah II on November 16. The crowd was a mix of groups and ages, with Islamists, leftists and activists from youth movements numbering among them.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Rest After A Lo...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
01 Nov 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.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: A Mother Says G...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
31 Oct 2012

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.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: An Infant's Bur...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
30 Oct 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

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Washing (12 of 16)
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
31 Oct 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.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Outside Baths (...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
31 Oct 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.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: A break In The ...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
08 Nov 2012

For women in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, cooking in a kitchen has been a way to restore a small sense of normalcy to their lives. Though they must sometimes wait in line to cook their food, preparing food together gives the women a chance to talk, take a break from their mundane life inside and outside the tent, or even smoke a cigarette in privacy. November 8, 2012.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Neighborhood Ba...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
29 Oct 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.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Cooking Outside...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
29 Oct 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 about 40,000-strong population in the camp, there are still are some that are not yet functional. October 29, 2012.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Waiting For A K...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
30 Oct 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.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Water Pick Up (...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
08 Nov 2012

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.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Drainage For Te...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
31 Oct 2012

Masura, 38, a mother of four from Dara’a in Syria, has created a one-stop-shop for washing in her tent in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp. In her tent in an area cordoned off by concrete blocks, she washes dishes, clothes and hands. Like many other residents of the camp, her family has dug a hole for the water to drain out of the tent area and into the dirt outside. October 31, 2012.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Mother and Daug...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
31 Oct 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.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Household Respo...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
29 Oct 2012

Young girls are expected to help maintain the home. On the older half of the camp where rocks weren’t laid down, the dust is still a problem for many women, not only to keep their tents clean, but to keep their children healthy and clean as well. More than half of the refugees in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp are children and adolescents, with the population of women with children on the rise. October 29, 2012.

Thumb sm
Zaatari Refugee Camp: Love Conquers A...
Mafraq, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
29 Oct 2012

Zana, 26 married Abdu, 24, both from Dara’a, Syria, stand inside their new home the day after their wedding on October 29, 2012. Though some like Abdu’s brother opt to wait until they go back to Syria to marry, many have decided to start their lives in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp. For Zana, though it was difficult for her to have a small wedding without her family on hand, she said that all that matters is that she found her husband. “I have my love. Love conquers all,” Zana said.

Thumb sm
Protest at Interior Ministry Circle i...
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
14 Nov 2012

Riot police stand ready on November 14 around 5 a.m. at the Interior Ministry Circle in Amman, Jordan. The greatly-reduced crowd from the earlier 2,000-strong protest decrying rises in fuel prices across the country, was dispersed by the police minutes later with a water cannon, and fleeing demonstrators were chased down and arrested.

Thumb sm
Protest at Interior Ministry Circle i...
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
14 Nov 2012

On November 14 in the early morning, protestors gathered at the Interior Ministry Circle in Amman, Jordan, spurred by the rise of fuel prices country-wide. Hundreds of riot police surrounded the demonstrators, even from bridges above, who called for, among other things, the fall of the regime.

Thumb sm
Protest at Interior Ministry Circle i...
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
14 Nov 2012

On November 14 in the early morning, protestors who were spurred to gather by the rise of fuel prices in Jordan, stood in front of riot police in the Interior Ministry Circle in Amman. Hundreds of police numbered among the thousands of protestors that called for freedom, democracy, and even chanted for the fall of the regime as they waved flags, signs and burned paper bags.

Thumb sm
Protest at Interior Ministry Circle i...
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
14 Nov 2012

A pro-government demonstrator holds Jordan's flag in front of a photo of King Abdullah II in the Interior Ministry Circle in Amman on November 14 in the early morning. Hours before, protestors tried to tear down this photo before being blocked by riot police. Hundreds of police numbered among the thousands of protestors that called for freedom, democracy, and even chanted for the fall of the regime.

Thumb sm
Protest at Interior Ministry Circle i...
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
14 Nov 2012

On November 14 in the early morning, thousands of protestors, including some families, gathered at Interior Ministry Circle in Amman, Jordan to protest the rise in fuel prices. Dozens of fires were started to ward off the cold, and despite the unrest, there was a festive air at the demonstration. These men were singing and dancing as the protestors chanted nearby.

Thumb sm
Protest at Interior Ministry Circle i...
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
14 Nov 2012

On November 14 in the early morning, thousands of protestors, including some families, gathered at Interior Ministry Circle in Amman to protest the rise in fuel prices. Dozens of fires were started to ward off the cold, and despite the unrest, there was a festive air at the demonstration.

Thumb sm
Protest at Interior Ministry Circle i...
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
14 Nov 2012

On November 14 in the early morning, thousands of protestors gathered to protest the rise of fuel prices in Jordan at the Interior Ministry Circle in Amman. People pulled down tree branches to start fires in the surrounding area outside the circle to ward off the cold.

Thumb sm
Protest at Interior Ministry Circle i...
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
13 Nov 2012

On November 14 in the early morning, protestors who were spurred to gather by the rise of fuel prices in Jordan, move to face off against riot police in the Interior Ministry Circle in Amman. Two hours before, demonstrators had attempted to tear down this photo of King Abdullah before they were blocked. Hundreds of police numbered among the thousands of protestors that called for freedom, democracy, and even chanted for the fall of the regime.

Thumb sm
Protest at Interior Ministry Circle i...
Amman, Jordan
By Melissa Tabeek
13 Nov 2012

On November 14 in the early morning, protestors who were spurred to gather by the rise of fuel prices in Jordan, stood in front of riot police in the Interior Ministry Circle in Amman. Hundreds of police numbered among the thousands of protestors that called for freedom, democracy, and even chanted for the fall of the regime.