A blessed day (Ashura) and an early morning visit to the Zataari refugee camp: the biggest refugee camp in the world with a population of over 180,000 and still rising.
Although it was a very brief visit due to security concerns, we were able to assess the living conditions the Syrians face. To leave the comfort of their homes with their families and to move into make-shift tents is not only demanding physically but mentally too.
The main concern relates to the lack of sufficient food supplies and inadequate accommodation. The camp has seen an increasing number of reports of crime, including prostitution and drug-dealing. It literally is another city (would be ranked 4th biggest in Jordan).
Remember, these people were able to donate to the poor. Now they themselves are eligible for zakat!
We headed back to the distribution centre. The new arrival of Syrians, including the ones we met the night before would be receiving:
– Food Parcels
– Hygiene Packs
– Baby Care
We interviewed a handful of people but their stories were so disturbing our translator couldn’t do anymore.
A woman had witnessed her parents being killed. A couple had nearly 20 members of their family butchered. They showed us pictures of each family member, from as young as 8 months. So horrific that the father became blind because of the stress.
There were so many other stories. But way too graphic to send to describe here.
We worked all the way until the sun was about to set. It was so organised and systematic, it made the task manageable. The volunteers did an amazing job.
It was sad to see them leave to go back to the refugee camp, with the innocent children enjoying themselves, getting excited over receiving simple gifts like pens and sweets that we take for granted on a daily basis. They played in the park before the bus arrived to take them to a place no one would ever want their children to be in.
We sat together and broke our fast as a team. It felt like the fasting gave me more energy to do extra work! Never underestimate the human body.
We then left the family who looked after us so well for those couple of days. Such amazing hospitality for those they have never met before, but for the purpose of striving to serve humanity will unite our hearts forever.