Making Home Away

So I sat them down and told them: the five of us are here, me, you and your father, wherever the five of us are, that place should be your heaven.
Discover their stories


Current 'Home' Jordan

Farida had just given birth to a baby girl, her seventh child, when it became clear that she would have to take her children and leave their home in Syria.  Her husband was away working in Damascus, so she was forced to begin her perilous journey to Jordan.  However, her first attempts to leave proved too difficult:

"Someone said to me, walk through the buildings so you don’t get shot…  I sat down for an hour or so, but then went back home and said, whatever happens to me and my kids will be.  I lost hope.  A few days passed.  First day... second… third… and nothing… I stayed (that way) for three days, with airplanes (flying) over us day and night and tanks around us.

I had bread - I buy for a week in advance.  After a week I decided to go out to get bread for the kids.  I went down(stairs), the neighborhood was a wreck, (there was) complete destruction, even the mosque was in ruins. I walked and walked then gave up hope and went back home.  The kids were home alone.  I came up and my son asked if I had found any bread and I said no, we will have to make do with what we have until God relieves us."

A makeshift kitchen in a refugee caravan in the Zaatari refugee camp, 2019. Image by Yasmine Shamma

Farida was eventually able to make it to her in-law’s house, where she stayed for ten days, during the Ramadan fasting period.

"There were five days left of Ramadan and there was heavy bombardment of the village. Where shall I go with the children? We had Ramadan breakfast ready, and then the bombardment started. I ran out to the street with no head cover.  My son followed, saying “Yumma, you are in the street with no head cover!” He fetched a towel and put it over my head.  An hour later, my son told me that the bombs had hit the house next door, right across the street. Once I got there... the woman had died, her son and two of her brother in law’s children.

I told my son I don’t care anymore, khalas ('enough'), yulla ('let’s go!') to Jordan."


This extract is from an interview conducted by YASMINE SHAMMA during 2019 as part of the British Academy funded ‘Lost and Found: A Digital Archive of Migration, Displacement and Resettlement’  project’s Making Home Away archive.


Current 'Home'


Current 'Home'