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.
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Inaam talks about her decision to plant a garden as a turning point in her acceptance of her family's situation:

"I gave up on going home. When I was sad and desperate, I saw that reflected in my children. They were destroyed. Then I said to myself; how long am I going to live like this? One year, two, and then what?  This is my fate and I have to accept it. I even started planting a garden. This is my home, where else is my home?"

A garden seen from the roadside in Al Azraq refugee camp, 2019. Image by Yasmine Shamma
Gardens and houses also feature frequently as subjects for murals in Al Azraq refugee camp, 2019. Image by Yasmine Shamma

 Gardening is a thread that runs across the stories collected here from Za'atari and Al Azraq refugee camps; as Yasmine Shamma writes for the Conversation, "It is a shock to find a garden in a desert, but a special one to find handfuls of them in the refugee camps, because water, like other resources, is scarce and rationed."


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.


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