Syrian Refugee camp in Jordan


Japanese follows

Today’s theme is “To be honest, I was an ignorant. What did I realize in a Syrian refugee camp?”.

Could you imagine that you have to keep living in this refugee camp for years and years?

Could you imagine that you may not be able to go back your hometown?


I have never lived and studied abroad, in other words, I have never lived in anywhere but Japan. It is common for me to live in a house with a bath, toilet and roof, of course drinking tap water is totally safe in Japan. So, it was very hard for me to imagine their life of the refugee camp, even though the real camp view was spread in front of me.

I don’t know why but I was on the brink of tears when I only walked into the refugee camp on the first day of camp. I remember the scene which I was fighting back tears because I didn’t want to cry there.

So what’s with my waterworks? Sadness? Pain? Compassion? Pity? Helpless? Quite frankly, I have absolutely no idea and cannot express my feelings correctly. I want to burn these emotions which I haven’t sorted out into my memory.

The one of reasons why I cannot understand my feelings by myself is there are too many differences compared with my experience to understand anymore. I’ve lost me.

  • For example, we have to show police my ID permission card whenever we entered in the camp.
  • Iron wire surround on the wall around camp.
  • We were checked whether bomb was set or not.
  • Refugees can buy foods using Iris recognition at a supermarket


The Za’atari Refugee Camp, established on July 29, 2012, has an area of 5.3 km2 (which is equivalent to an area roughly 112 times that of Tokyo Dome) and accommodates 12 districts.

The Refugee Camp, sheltering about 80,000 refugees, is the world’s fifth largest refugee camp and accommodates the largest number of Syrian refugees in the world. *

(I was shocked by existing a larger refugee camp than it …)

According to UNHCR, Refugees of the Syrian Civil War is as below. Jordan is the third largest host country of registered refugees with over 600,000 Syrian refugees.

This population is shown refugees who had been registered, so this figure is likely underestimated. * UNHCR website

Total population 5.3 milllion
Regions with important populations (Registered)
 Turkey  3.2 million
 Lebanon 1 million
Jordan  660,000

The population of Shimane-ken in Japan is as well as Jordan registered refugees.

As embarrassing as this is to say, I didn’t know the problems of refugees around the world. Regardless the amounts of refugees who aim to European countries had increased since 2015, I couldn’t catch up the problems in my daily life. I’m preoccupied with the next milestone and my full mailbox, so that I didn’t turn my attention to what happens in the world now while some media reported IS terrorists etc.

In the first day, I feel “Is it real that many refugees, who escaped from war to reach Jordan, have to live in front of me?”. Of course I grasped what is Syrian War. However, I wanted to put the reality in a box and observe from the far place for keeping self-consciousness. I was really shocked the reality view. If I did not, my feelings would overflow from myself.

As I was, we Japanese can live if you don’t know the events of the other countries. I think they would rather live not facing to that than have feel helpless and terrible for some reasons. You can’t just sweep your problems under the carpet? Ignorance is bliss.? (Strictly speaking, these are incorrect to express the above situation.)

I wonder if it really happens in “the other country” and have nothing to do you?

My answer is No. This is what I who are ignore realize in a Syrian refugee camp.

See you next blog! – Next Theme: What is vulnerability?




















シリア難民のトータルは530万人といわれており、トルコ(320万人)、レバノン(100万人)に続き、ヨルダンは66万人を受け入れています。あくまでもUNHCRによる登録難民の数ですので、非登録難民の数を考慮するともう少し増えるでしょう。*UNHCR Website参照




かつての私がそうであったように、違う国で起きていることを知らなくても日本で生きていくことはできます。現実を知ったところで何もできない自分の無力さや、説明しようのない恐怖を感じるくらいなら、向き合わずに知ろうとせずに生きていくのが、楽な生き方なのだと思います。 “臭いものには蓋をする”“知らぬが仏”といったところでしょうか? (正確にいえば、どちらの諺も状況にはマッチしていませんが…)





  1. Hi,

    I’m interested in volunteering at the Za’atari camp, can you tell me about your experiences with NGO’s and can you reccomend me a NGO?

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