This is where Alaa lives – one of the thousands of tents that provide accommodation to refugees in Zaatari camp. It’s in the first area of the camp to be settled, because Alaa’s family came 9 months ago, not long after the camp was built.
This is Alaa’s mother, Manal, and her father, Mustafa. Manal was a teacher and Mustafa had an internet café in Homs before the war. The family fled nine months ago when fighting intensified and they started hearing stories of children being kidnapped and maltreated.
Manal cooks as best she can in tent’s kitchen area, using the food supplies provided by WFP along with a few other items, such as coffee, that she manages to find in Zaatari camp. Her home in Homs had a very well equipped kitchen, she says.
Alaa is in 1st grade and seems to have settled in well since starting at the camp school in October last year, when the classes were in tents. Although she doesn’t have her old friends from Homs, Alaa has made new friends at the school.
Alaa’s parents are keen to ensure their daughter’s education doesn’t suffer as a result of them being refugees. School is also important in the camp because it helps create a sense of normality, a feeling that life carries on.