“When we left Damascus, my father told us we would only be gone for a month. But after we were here for 6 months, I knew we were not going to be going home soon. I was devastated. I thought I had lost my life, my future. I just wanted to die.”
Thirteen-year-old Nour has been living in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp for the last year, along with her parents, four siblings, grandmother and cousins. The family fled Syria when bombs started falling in their neighborhood; their house was destroyed just days after they left.
I spent a Friday last week with Nour and her family to see how a typical day in a camp is for a young refugee. It was the weekend in Jordan, so Nour, an aspiring nurse, was not in her classes at the Zaatari school. But her school days are similar — living as a refugee in a tent takes a lot more work than her comfortable life in Damascus, and her many chores make it a challenge to keep up with the top scores she earns in her studies.
Scroll through the photos above to see how Nour spends her day.
What I learned is that it is a very hard life, but also one with occasional joys and moments of tenderness. I also learned that Nour is a very special girl, as are so many of the Syrian children who are struggling to maintain hope in the face of this terrible crisis.