I came across this delightful article which narrates the blossoming hope within a refugee camp. Here at Zaatari camp, refugees are regaining control of their lives as they are stimulating their camp into a place like ‘home’.
This article was exciting for me as it reasserts the fact that refugees are the same group of people as us who desire to live normal lives. As Rifai (one of the refugees in Zaatari camp) says, despite the tough and unusual circumstances they are forced to live in, the refugees are able to rebuild their lives.
By organising their own volunteer group among the camp’s youth, they are able to help the most vulnerable refugees and have also constructed equipped schools, supermarkets and playgrounds. This clearly shows that they have created a stronger and sustainable community which doesn’t have to rely on international support.
I was even more amazed (but glad) to read of the changes that have been made in the camp over a short amount of time. From an article written just few months ago, the Zaatari camp was described as a place of ‘misery, shame, anger, and isolation’ (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/11/inside-zaatari-refugee-camp-jordan-syria-uprising-three-years) Rifai highlights the very differences in the camp then and now, as he says ‘just one road surrounded by scattered tents… very different from what we see today’. Thus this shows strongly the work ethic of refugees who can transform their surroundings in a practical way.
Thus, I believe that this remarkable evolution of the Zaatari camp is a positive example proving that refugee camps aren’t just a ‘swathe of arid land’ but a place that can rehabilitate. Just like in the Zaatari camp, I believe that we can all support refugees in attaining hope and building their camps into somewhere which they will associate as ‘my home’