Syrian refugees in northern Jordan

We've been in Jordan now for over a week; it's been a crazy-busy 8-9 days already: orienting students to Amman and Jordan and their Homestays; starting Arabic classes; guest lectures; and a quick trip to the Dead Sea as well.

Yesterday, we visited a Syrian refugee community of around 200 people in the north of Jordan, near Mafraq.  We were asked to set up a "community center" in the form of a UNHCR ("UN Refugee agency") tent.  It was a simple task, given the eagerness of so many NU and Project GO students.  We accomplished it in less than an hour - and our students were asking to do more ... "what next?" they asked, hoping that we could contribute even more than we just did.  But that was it - the Syrians have so little already, and our efforts were so minimal, yet the end result is a nice tent for young kids to hang out and play, draw, or do whatever they and their parents want them to do.

After our visit to the informal camp, including several visits inside the "tent homes" of several different Syrian families, we had a debrief at Mr. Jihad Al-Tabini's home outside Mafraq.  Jihad is the brother of Dr. Raed, our host at SIT.  Jihad is the one who organized the whole day, and we asked him to tell us what more we can do, what more we can give, to this community.

The students are eager to come back a few times in the next few weeks so that we can establish even more of a dialogue with these families, and so that we can offer our help even more than we have so far.  Let us hope we can give them more - and let's hope that it is what they want, not just what we want to give - but what they need us to give.

Here are a few pics of our efforts:












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