No place like home

More than a shelter

S1E2: No place like home

In Episode 2 of Between Lives, see how Abdul and Farida’s family have settled into their UNHCR shelter in Za’atari Camp, Jordan.

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Did you know?

Did you know that Za’atari Camp in Jordan, which lies near the Syrian border, was just made up of a small collection of tents in 2012? Since then, it has evolved into an urban settlement of some 76,000 people.

We are working with the residents to continue improving the camp, to meet their needs as conflict in their home country shows no signs of stopping. This includes innovations like creating a solar power plant to provide electricity to every household.

In Za’atari Camp, we provide caravans as well as tents. Our plan is to eventually provide caravans for everyone inside the camp, so that every family has the security of living in a solid building, protected from the elements. For people whose homes and villages have been invaded, having a private space where they can lock the door and feel safe.

Your regular support means that we can provide more families with their own safe space to turn into a home.





“I want to return home, to the life we had”

Farida is safe in Za’atari, but misses her home in Syria. ©UNHCR/S.Rich

In Episode 2 of Between Lives, Farida explains how difficult it was to leave her home behind, and how she is building a new life for her family in Za’atari.

My house in Syria had two bedrooms, a living room and a shop we opened to earn money. The house was a very good size. Outside, we had a small garden where I grew oranges, olives and almonds… the garden was special and the children had the space to play.

We lived happily. My husband worked, my son worked, and I worked in the garden. We needed nothing and never expected we’d come here or see the things we have seen. We had never thought about coming to Jordan, even for a visit. But here we are. We’ve been treated well, but it’s difficult to live away from home.

I especially remember Ramadan, when we would have a big celebration in my home with neighbours, family, friends, and children. We cherished each and every day of it and kindness prevailed among people. We would cook lots of different dishes and spread them on the dinner table. It was special. It’s different here. Everyone here is troubled. Everyone has cried. Sadness lies in every heart. Every family has lost one or two of its members. If not, they have lost their homes and become displaced.

We lost our home when the army came. They ravaged a big part of my house with a tank then security officials seized the house, set up a checkpoint and settled in it. So we had to get out as there was no place to stay anymore. We left and came here.

We first thought that we’d stay here for one month only and then come back to live normally. Staying here for another month was out of the question. But here we still are.

Some of my children have lost hope of returning home. They are safe here, but they lack the joy of life. Back home, they used to play, be happy, sing, and dance.


I want to return home, to the life we had. Our future lies there. I want my children to grow up in their country; I want to be buried there.

“Even my youngest child Inaam (5) has become prone to depression. So we bought her a Syrian paradise bird, to remind her of home and that we will one day go back.”

Inaam’s paradise bird reminds her of her home in Syria. ©UNHCR/S.Rich

Facts and Figures

7,822 tents in camp

24,000 caravans in camp

4.6 – average family size

461,000 – refugees have passed through the camp

Statistics correct as of August 2017

See the whole story

Follow Abdul, Farida and their children as they navigate life in Za’atari Camp, Jordan. Watch the whole series now.

S1E1: For the record

S1E5: Time to heal

S1E2: No place like home

S1E6: New Tastes

S1E3: Thirst for life

S1E7: The road ahead

S1E4: Life lessons

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