Lucie MACH Photographe-Reporter
Travel diary on Jordan society
DIURNE, résilience en Jordanie
Travel diary that give a feeling on jordanian society in its state of mind while portraying jordanians and syrians I met in the city of Amman, Irbid and Zaatari refugee camp. Jordan 2016.
“Diurne” est un carnet de voyage donnant une impression sur la société jordanienne actuelle. Depuis que la guerre en Syrie à commencé en 2012 , 657 000 réfugiés syriens essaient de reconstruire une nouvelle vie dans le pays voisin qu’est la Jordanie. Je me suis rendue dans les villes d’Amman, d’Irbid et dans le camp de réfugiés de Zaatari pour rencontrer les gens présents. Nourrie par leurs histoires et leur résilience commune, j’ai trouvé dans leur environnement comme une rupture dans la vie quotidienne qu’il a fallu reprendre. La vie dans la ville se construit et offre une diversité de point de vues où la lumière se fraye un chemin.
“It’s hard to live here, everything is expensive in Jordan and one salary isn’t enough for the family. Especially here, we love kids.When you ask someone how many kids they have, they will answer minimum 4. It is very expensive to pay for the study, food, everything. And especially since there is the refugees here because there is more student in the school so they understand less. Even for the health and for the hospital or the insurance, there is too much people there so you prefer to go to a private doctor, not the government one so you have to pay more, that’s why i work, to support my family.”
Ala, plomber woman from Irbid
“Every Syrians have a story here”
“I graduated from a business school in Damascus. I was called to do the army so insteadI went to Beirut to work. I stayed there for 6 months then to UAE for 2 months but i couldn’t stay there. I moved to Cairo (Egypt) and the second day, police stole my money so i decided to go to Libya but i got arrested because i had no visa or passport that allowed me on the territory. After 5 days, i came back to Egypt and moved back to Syria, then to Lebanon for 6 months and then to Jordan. I was arrested in Lebanon because of Hezbollah.“They arrest any Syrians face.They follow the syrian authority” I arrived in Irbid on February 2013. Life here is excellent, much better than in Lebanon or in UAE even if I don’t really work legally here. i’m a counter and work as a cashier but sometimes i do the service because I have a work permit that only allow me to do general works, I’m not suppose to deal with cash. The owner is Syrian, he is a friend.”
Karam 31 years old, from Daraa.
“I was in Zaatari Refugee camp for 3 years, at the beginning at the camp. Living conditions were very bad. We were living in tents and bathrooms were very far. At rst, there was only 4 bathrooms for 200 people. To leave zaatari, a paid a jordanian man who was guarant for me.”
Mahmoud, from Daraa
“We like welcoming we always have received people here you know.I t’s like an open space for everyone but I think it’s heavy for Jordan. It’s a small country and we have all these people now, it’s limited because they need water supply and things like that.We don’t need too much Syrians here because jordanians people can’t live too. Those people, they want to make a living here, they are looking for jobs, they open a store or a restaurant, work illegal...They do whatever and work with less money. People hire them and they compete very good with us. Us syrians and jordanians are brothers, we should help them. If they need, really, i’ll help them but I’m not gonna hire somebody and get a ne or may close because of that.”
Ray, owner of a snack restaurant in Irbid
“No matter the religion or the political opinions, we are talking about humanity. We have to welcome them, it’s in our culture. It’s easier for Syrians, we have the same traditions, we are relatives, cousin, nephew...”
Mohammad, 25 years old, from Irbid
“ I used to be a basketball coach for the under 18 Syrian Team in Damascus. One day, some people kidnapped me and asked for money in exchange of my life.They kept me for 1,5 months and then, i didn’t want to stay in Syria anymore and I decided to go to Jordan.That was in 2012. I moved to Irbid and I was working as a cleaning man in a supermarket but conditions were very hard. After few months i decided to start a business from zero and I have opened a candy shop in front of the same supermarket. I’m happy and satis ed in my life because I’m still alive. But I’m alone here, my family and friends are still in Damascus.”
Moataz, 33 years old, from Damascus.
“I cannot go back to my house, it has been destroyed. I arrived in Jordan in May 2012 with my husband, one of my son, my baby and my daughter in law. My other son came afterward. We walked across the border in Daraa Checkpoint in Syria, we were taken and brought to Ramtha Refugee camp where we stayed for 1 night. We found a jordanian who was garant for us that allowed us to go out of the camp. We paid 200JD for everybody. At the beginning, we were living in one room, it was very small. Everybody in Zarqa was nice with us except the landlord. She wanted to raise the rent. From 40JD/month, it became 50, then 65, then 70. We left the place and found this one instead. I stay at home, i don’t go out. My husband and son are taking care of the nances. My husband works as an electrician in new houses and my son is a barber. Don’t take pictures of me, my husband doesn’t allow it.”
Miada, 44 years old, from Homs