Between Lives: S1E1 - For the Record

S1E1: For the record

Meet Abdul, Farida and their children, one of the families you are helping to support — as they settle into Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan after fleeing conflict in Syria.

UNHCR Community Services Officer, Ihab Shaban, explains how the registration process is the first and most important step in helping refugees.

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Did you know?

The refugee registration process is one of the most important things UNHCR does.

Registration is more than just keeping a record — it shows refugees they don’t have to run anymore, that they are now safe and protected.

Refugees often arrive exhausted, dehydrated and hungry. UNHCR’s teams are there to provide families with a warm meal, plenty to drink and any medical treatment they need. Each family is then given a new shelter, along with sleeping mats, blankets and cooking utensils to make it into a home.

Your monthly support means UNHCR can be ready and waiting for the thousands of families who are forced from their homes by conflict each day. We can help them find a new life, safe from harm.

Before war broke out, Abdul, Farida and their children lived in Dara’a, Syria. They ran a small supermarket from their home, grew their own produce and all the children attended school. Life was good – until the war ripped their lives apart.

After losing friends and neighbors to the conflict, the family realized that they had to flee their home to survive. They left their business, their beautiful home and everything they knew to find safety.

Abdul said: “What should I say? It’s impossible to stay the same after what we’ve seen. I feared for my children. They were all targets, wherever they were. Even schools were not safe anymore. When the bombing happened at her school, my daughter Nada saw her friend blown into pieces. Little children are seen as potential ‘terrorists’ so they get killed. How can I see people I know die in front of me, and not change? It’s impossible. The situation has forever changed. If I go back to my town now, I won’t recognize it.”

“Staying in Syria was not an option. If we had stayed we would have been facing death. So we came to Jordan.”

“Life in Za’atari is tough, but my children are safe. And we have been here for a long time and conditions are improving. The camp has rescued me and my children. How would we have survived any longer in Syria, when I cannot run or find a safe place to hide?”


Facts & Figures

July 28, 2012

Zaatari opened on July 28, 2012 

The 80,146
 residents are all Syrian refugees

461,701 refugees have passed through the camp

57% are under 24, 19.9% of whom are under 5 years old

Places of origin include Dara’a (79.1%), Homs (2.8%), Damascus (2%) and Aleppo (1.85%)

50% of the population is male, 50% is female

1 in 5 households is headed by women

80 – average number of births per week

Updated as of August 2017

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