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artwork at Zaatari Refugee Camp

82 new Syrian Refugees entered Jordan in the last 24 hours, according to Albawaba News posting (2/17/16). The estimated number of Syrian Refugees in Jordan is close to 1.5 million, almost 650,000 are actually registered as refugees, but all are being offered food, water, and a place to stay. Having spent nearly a month in Syria in 2003, this beautiful place and people are still very alive for me.

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I look back at my first blog posting, August, 2013, Zaatari Syrian Refuge Camp in Jordan. At the time there were over 115,000 refugees. In 2013 the camp swelled way beyond capacity and services to 156,000 people.

In April 2014, another refugee camp was opened in Azraq and both new arrivals and people from Zaatari began to settle there. The latest numbers put Zaatari under 100,000 people in two square miles. It is a city with a wall around it, no trees in the northern plain of Jordan.

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Above is a satellite picture of Zaatari almost two years ago.

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Young Syrians playing computer games at a market in Zaatari.

There is so much attention to the flood of refugees across the water to Greece, or North and West into Europe, but Jordan and Lebanon are in a waterfall of displaced persons. Blessings on the King of Jordan, who continues to offer food, water and shelter to so many.

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New housing modules, distributed by the UN High Commission for Refugees

 

We in America need to think of these refugees as  people of all levels of education and training, with languages and skills, those who stayed in the beautiful city of Aleppo, now steadily bombed, places that a year or so ago were normal cities, and are now places of death. They had no choice but to flee. Here are some more recent photos of Zaatari:

 

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There are no water pipes to deliver water to the dwellings. It is supplied by water trucks like this one.

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The main market. There is even pizza delivery. People here have accepted they are likely to be here a long time…

Here is a staggering fact: only just over 1% of the residents here are over 60 years old. 26% are children, and now infants are growing up in the camp. This is the only home they know.

It is important to keep these people in our thoughts and prayers, that they be safe, well, and even find happiness in their everyday lives, in friends and loved ones.

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