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

Rabia's comments on permanence highlight an uncertain sense of time - coupled with a committed belief in some sort of future, albeit unknown - for refugees:

"Well, we don't know how long we are staying here. We could be staying here for three more years or twenty more years, so when we plant (the garden), it makes us feel alive.  I started planting and fixing the caravan the day I got here. Even if I do not stay here for a long time, someone will make use of the plants after I leave." 

A garden in the form of a mural on a caravan in Al Azraq refugee camp, 2019. Image by Yasmine Shamma

"When you sit in a private house, it is different than living in a caravan.  We cannot compare it to our home. The most important thing is that we are (safe here). That we sleep without fear. I held a birthday party for my granddaughter, and we invited the whole neighborhood! These are the things that we do to keep us going."

Creative paintwork on the interior of a caravan in Al Azraq refugee camp, 2019. Image by Yasmine Shamma

Gardening is a powerful activity which many of the Syrian refugees interviewed as part of the Making Home Away project cited as key to their emotional health and sense of self - click on the tags 'Garden' and 'Flowers' to the left to find more stories of refugees putting down roots.   The Lemon Tree Trust was founded to support refugee gardening initiatives, with the aim of reaching refugees across the world. 


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'