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In pictures: Arriving at Zaatari refugee camp
With more than 120,000 people, Zaatari is the biggest camp for Syrian refugees fleeing civil war.
Last updated: 29 Nov 2013 08:38
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More than 113,000 people have perished since fighting began in Syria two and a half years ago, including 11,420 children. As the death toll continues to mount, an increasing number of Syrians have fled their homes, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.

Gregory Beals, a writer who has been following the narratives of survivors of conflict for the past three years for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), recorded the moment when refugees first arrive at the Za'atari camp in Jordan and the stories of loss they bring with them.

"I pay close attention to the faces of children," Beals wrote. "Sometimes I see relief. Most often, I see faces that are painted with a feeling of confusion. Families rest on cots or on mats on the concrete floor before they are registered, provided a tent, blankets, plastic sheeting, cooking utensils and food.

"But the reception center is more than a rest area. It is a memory machine, nurtured by the daily arrival of innocents and their families. They come exhausted from the days of travel, the passage through indescribable violence and the flight across a border. And when they spend their first night having passed the periphery of conflict, Syrian refugees finally have the luxury to begin to safely remember what has happened."


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
A young boy sits against a gate in the reception area waiting to be registered as a refugee at Za'atari refugee camp.


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Samar, six, and Bushra, eight, escaped from Homs with their parents and two-year-old brother.


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Eleven-year-old Ali (left) and Yamin, ten, made the passage from Homs with their family. "We left Homs because there is no bread, no food, no electricity," their mother Bushra said. "We escaped and used the trees for cover from snipers."


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Hajer, three months old, arrived from the village of Inkhil in Dara'a.


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Five-year-old Sabrine fled from rural Damascus where there were rockets and mortar fire.


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Five-year-old Ali arrived on November 17 from rural Damascus. At first light, his mother dressed him in his best clothing before registering as a refugee.


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
This family from rural Damascus came to Jordan via the eastern deserts. They said they left after their neighborhood was subjected to 24-hour shelling.


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Most refugees arrive at the camp at around 3 am. A little girl cries after her mother tells her to put on a coat which has a broken zipper.


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Mohammed arrived from Homs. He sits on a bag of winter clothing, the only belongings his family has.


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Foza is a year and two months old and comes from the village of Karm al-Zaytoon near Homs. Her 32-year-old father says he wishes his daughter was never born for all that she has endured. "We had hoped things would get better," he says. "They only go worse."


/Gregory Beals/UNHCR/Al Jazeera
Five-year-old Zahir arrived from Homs last night. It took the family two days to arrive. They paid approximately $1,000 to smugglers to take the family of four to safety.


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Fatima, five, left her home when the war began and had been travelling from village to village ever since. "If we had family where we stayed that was good," her mother Eida said. "If not then we would sleep in the fields."


/Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Eight-year-old Orub weeps silently in the morning hours. The family village in Bab Sbaa was engulfed in fighting and so they fled.



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images:
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captions:
A young boy sits against a gate in the reception area waiting to be registered as a refugee at Za\(***)atari refugee camp.;*;Samar, six, and Bushra, eight, escaped from Homs with their parents and two-year-old brother.;*;Eleven-year-old Ali (left) and Yamin, ten, made the passage from Homs with their family. "We left Homs because there is no bread, no food, no electricity," their mother Bushra said. "We escaped and used the trees for cover from snipers.";*;Hajer, three months old, arrived from the village of Inkhil in Dara\(***)a. ;*;Five-year-old Sabrine fled from rural Damascus where there were rockets and mortar fire.;*;Five-year-old Ali arrived on November 17 from rural Damascus. At first light, his mother dressed him in his best clothing before registering as a refugee.;*;This family from rural Damascus came to Jordan via the eastern deserts. They said they left after their neighborhood was subjected to 24-hour shelling.;*;Most refugees arrive at the camp at around 3 am. A little girl cries after her mother tells her to put on a coat which has a broken zipper.;*;Mohammed arrived from Homs. He sits on a bag of winter clothing, the only belongings his family has.;*;Foza is a year and two months old and comes from the village of Karm al-Zaytoon near Homs. Her 32-year-old father says he wishes his daughter was never born for all that she has endured. "We had hoped things would get better," he says. "They only go worse.";*;Five-year-old Zahir arrived from Homs last night. It took the family two days to arrive. They paid approximately $1,000 to smugglers to take the family of four to safety.;*;Fatima, five, left her home when the war began and had been travelling from village to village ever since. "If we had family where we stayed that was good," her mother Eida said. "If not then we would sleep in the fields." ;*;Eight-year-old Orub weeps silently in the morning hours. The family village in Bab Sbaa was engulfed in fighting and so they fled. Daylife ID:
8da9f4a0f4a12f9ef5a59a048674a720
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/UNHCR/Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera;*;Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
New arrivals at Za'atari refugee camp in JordanIn the early morning I often visit a reception area in Jordan’s Za’atari camp where I meet the men, women and children who have arrived from Syria the night before. I pay close attention to the faces of children. Sometimes I see relief. Most often, I see faces that are painted with a feeling of confusion. Families rest on cots or on mats on the concrete floor before they are registered, provided a tent, blankets, plastic sheeting, cooking utensils and food. But the reception center is more than a rest area. It is a memory machine, nurtured by the daily arrival of innocents and their families. They come exhausted from the days of travel, the passage through indescribable violence and the flight across a border. And when they spend their first night having passed the periphery of conflict, Syrian refugees finally have the luxury to begin to safely remember what has happened. They look at their children and memories manifest themselves as but a word. “Shooting.” “Fighting.” “Bombing.” The name of a village abandoned. Other memories cannot yet be spoken. By the end of August 2013, 11,420 children aged 17 years and younger had been recorded killed in the Syrian conflict. More than 113,000 Syrians in all have perished. As Syria hurdles deeper into war, to remember is to look back on the myriad reasons why they were afraid, why they are poor, why their family members were killed, why they are homeless. To remember is to remember whose lives and whose futures have been sacrificed. Most parents tell me that they are afraid to be photographed but urge me to take a picture of their children. It is as if they do not want to see themselves or be seen. Rather they are content with the knowledge that their children are still here, still alive. They are well aware that Syria’s emotional and physical loss could likely encompass future generations. And so it’s no surprise to me that when the people in the reception area begin to remember, they do so reluctantly and with extreme caution. Remembering transcends loss. In short it invokes a space filled with a nauseating terror. While acts of violence, the rockets, the mortars, the shelling are recounted over an over, the true pain behind them exists as something unmentionable. The unmentionable lingers everywhere in the reception area. It doesn’t act in opposition to that which was spoken but rather, like a shadow, accompanies it. It is not difficult to imagine the future of these young ones based on what we know about child refugees. Many children will become family breadwinners. Many others will likely not attend school. Many have lost fathers. Some have lost both parents. Entire families are enraged, afraid and broken. Relatives are either dead, disappeared, fighting, in jail or simply trying to make a livelihood out of what is left of a country broken by war’s insanity. The existential fears associated with survival of combat will be replaced by a new set of fears: will I ever go home? What will I find if I do? Will I live a life in exile? And yet behind every horror there is the power of survival. A power that is human, that connects with other humans. With each word and with each facial expression, their existence as human beings is somehow reaffirmed. I see this too on the faces of children. Gregory Beals is a writer who has been following the narratives of survivors of conflict for the past three yeas with UNHCR.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photosen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Fri, 29 Nov 2013 08:21:58 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/c04899130e05eb916f3687b80fb7ddf3

A young boy sits against a gate in the reception area waiting to be registered as a refugee at Za'atari refugee camp.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/c04899130e05eb916f3687b80fb7ddf3Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

A young boy sits against a gate in the reception area waiting to be registered as a refugee at Za'atari refugee camp.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/3e17bac1c8a616583fc638b9805491d1

Samar, six, and Bushra, eight, escaped from Homs with their parents and two-year-old brother.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/3e17bac1c8a616583fc638b9805491d1Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

Samar, six, and Bushra, eight, escaped from Homs with their parents and two-year-old brother.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/d911aa78cf3dadbb7e64060e8f4ca2f5

Eleven-year-old Ali (left) and Yamin, ten, made the passage from Homs with their family. "We left Homs because there is no bread, no food, no electricity," their mother Bushra said. "We escaped and used the trees for cover from snipers."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/d911aa78cf3dadbb7e64060e8f4ca2f5Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

Eleven-year-old Ali (left) and Yamin, ten, made the passage from Homs with their family. "We left Homs because there is no bread, no food, no electricity," their mother Bushra said. "We escaped and used the trees for cover from snipers."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/8a54f6f21a3ec84ce60814163c9aca28

Hajer, three months old, arrived from the village of Inkhil in Dara'a.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/8a54f6f21a3ec84ce60814163c9aca28Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

Hajer, three months old, arrived from the village of Inkhil in Dara'a.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/66f4907a30a88d2b03b4d3c334adec22

Five-year-old Sabrine fled from rural Damascus where there were rockets and mortar fire.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/66f4907a30a88d2b03b4d3c334adec22Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

Five-year-old Sabrine fled from rural Damascus where there were rockets and mortar fire.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/1316472e058931f6b6180d8ff8927a51

Five-year-old Ali arrived on November 17 from rural Damascus. At first light, his mother dressed him in his best clothing before registering as a refugee.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/1316472e058931f6b6180d8ff8927a51Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

Five-year-old Ali arrived on November 17 from rural Damascus. At first light, his mother dressed him in his best clothing before registering as a refugee.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/a411e7ae24e3fb47d47ae4dd1dc56ede

This family from rural Damascus came to Jordan via the eastern deserts. They said they left after their neighborhood was subjected to 24-hour shelling.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/a411e7ae24e3fb47d47ae4dd1dc56edeGregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

This family from rural Damascus came to Jordan via the eastern deserts. They said they left after their neighborhood was subjected to 24-hour shelling.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/6e2e5beefa062b5ec4d26387df60c804

Most refugees arrive at the camp at around 3 am. A little girl cries after her mother tells her to put on a coat which has a broken zipper.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/6e2e5beefa062b5ec4d26387df60c804Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

Most refugees arrive at the camp at around 3 am. A little girl cries after her mother tells her to put on a coat which has a broken zipper.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/8571725d996e47567e6b4260300a4d25

Mohammed arrived from Homs. He sits on a bag of winter clothing, the only belongings his family has.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/8571725d996e47567e6b4260300a4d25Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

Mohammed arrived from Homs. He sits on a bag of winter clothing, the only belongings his family has.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/16a0a3a6c374e0e8fd22f33aab3b4c7d

Foza is a year and two months old and comes from the village of Karm al-Zaytoon near Homs. Her 32-year-old father says he wishes his daughter was never born for all that she has endured. "We had hoped things would get better," he says. "They only go worse."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/16a0a3a6c374e0e8fd22f33aab3b4c7dGregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

Foza is a year and two months old and comes from the village of Karm al-Zaytoon near Homs. Her 32-year-old father says he wishes his daughter was never born for all that she has endured. "We had hoped things would get better," he says. "They only go worse."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/34db075ad281f67c9712dbb1dc53714d

Five-year-old Zahir arrived from Homs last night. It took the family two days to arrive. They paid approximately $1,000 to smugglers to take the family of four to safety.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/34db075ad281f67c9712dbb1dc53714dGregory Beals/UNHCR/Al Jazeera

Five-year-old Zahir arrived from Homs last night. It took the family two days to arrive. They paid approximately $1,000 to smugglers to take the family of four to safety.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/4c01b5c91cb6f8e62c5111ba33535db7

Fatima, five, left her home when the war began and had been travelling from village to village ever since. "If we had family where we stayed that was good," her mother Eida said. "If not then we would sleep in the fields."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/4c01b5c91cb6f8e62c5111ba33535db7Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

Fatima, five, left her home when the war began and had been travelling from village to village ever since. "If we had family where we stayed that was good," her mother Eida said. "If not then we would sleep in the fields."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/604991e3953348d5e0fc353301ffc701

Eight-year-old Orub weeps silently in the morning hours. The family village in Bab Sbaa was engulfed in fighting and so they fled.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/UNHCR_Za%27atari_refugee_camp_photos/slideshow/no-caption/604991e3953348d5e0fc353301ffc701Gregory Beals/ UNHCR/ Al Jazeera

Eight-year-old Orub weeps silently in the morning hours. The family village in Bab Sbaa was engulfed in fighting and so they fled.



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