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

Intergenerational differences impact family relations within refugee camps, as Khawla starkly outlines:

"My older son remembers. He was in sixth grade. Also my other son. You should see what he did (during the) first days (we were) here, he almost killed himself. He wanted to walk back, saying ‘I don’t want to stay here, I want to go back.’ He would start walking back (to Syria) until someone brought him back (to me). Now he tells me that once he turns eighteen he will surprise me with a phone call from Syria."

A young boy on a bicycle beside a fruit and vegetable stall in Al Azraq refugee camp, 2019. Image by Yasmine Shamma

Processes of memory, and the trauma experienced by children and adults during protracted displacement as refugees, intersect in complex ways to inform allegiances and attitudes to the 'home-land', as illustrated by Khawla's concerns over her son's longing to return to a still-disrupted Syria.  Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh writes about these processes in the context of Sahrawi refugee youth, exploring the concept of 'the Sahrawi politics of ‘travelling memories’'.


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'