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A hello from Zaatari

February 11, 2013

In Zaatari refugee camp.

In Zaatari refugee camp.

At the end of last week, a friend from Jordan was in the Zaatari camp and ran into a girl from the family I did a video piece on. My friend found her on a makeshift swing, took a photo and sent it to me via Twitter. The girl remembered me and the photojournalist I worked with on the story.

I was so happy to leave Jordan, but at that moment I was again reminded of the wonderful people I left behind in Zaatari. And how lucky I feel to have friends who can still check in on them from time to time. They were the best part about Jordan. And I really miss them.

I know the story of the family I spent so much time with is not unique, as the camp has expanded to a population of more than 70,000, all with similar stories of displacement, violence and pain. Many people have even more hardship. These stories continue, and things in Zaatari haven’t gotten any better. There have been more riots since I left, people fighting over tents, more tents going up in flames, more injured coming across the border.

As the conflict and the refugee flow keeps on unabated, I just hope that one day that strong-willed girl will be swinging back in her home country, safe, with that same smile on her face. Maybe that’s naïve. But still, I hope.

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