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
Mural on the wall of a building in Al Azraq refugee camp, 2019. Image by Yasmine Shamma

Fuad is a Syrian man who was forced to flee to Jordan because of questions surrounding his mandatory military service as a young man:

"My house … is still standing but the military have taken it to their possession, because I am considered a ‘wanted man’. So I cannot go back to Syria. Of course, I am wanted for absolutely no reason. I have never held a weapon in my life and I am fifty years old, but I was in the military when I was young. Even when I served in the military, I was just a bus driver! I am wanted because they asked (me) for a report that proves that I served in the military, and I had lost it. So they wanted to convict me because they couldn't find any proof that I had served in the military."

Caravans seen through a boundary fence in Al Azraq refugee camp, 2019. Image by Yasmine Shamma

This report from Forced Migration Review, by Ahmad Araman and Shaza Loutfi, outlines the situation around military conscription and the feasability of return to Syria for many refugees, such as Fuad.  As the authors write: 'Evasion of military conscription interacts with other factors that affect decisions both to flee and to return.'  Syria cannot be considered a safe country for its citizens to return to until all "crimes" related to military service and desertion are dismissed, and guarantees can be given to returnees about their exemption from future demands for conscription. 



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'