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

Mai tells her story, which foregrounds family caring responsibilities as a central concern and driver of refugee movement:

Push chairs for sale in Al Azraq refugee camp, 2019. Image by Yasmine Shamma

"My mother came here with me for a year, because I was mentally exhausted from what was going on. I was also taking care of a newborn baby at the time and I was drained. After she (had made sure that my) situation (was secure), she left to return to Syria.  She returned to Syria because I have siblings there. One of my siblings is a 13-year-old, and my mom could not leave her there alone."

A child on the threshold of a richly painted caravan in Al Azraq refugee camp, 2019. Image by Yasmine Shamma

Mai's mother's departure from Jordan is an example of 'spontaneous return' noted within this report on the politics of return from Jordan to Syria.  Although, as its author Julia Morris notes, these spontaneous returns are driven by contextual pressures (such as the competing family responsibilities in this instance), and they can often drive refugees to return to countries or regions that remain unsafe.


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'