Some of those stranded in a Jordanian refugee camp say they would rather wait to return to their homeland.
The 80,000 Syrian refugees in Zaatari survive in cramped, thin-walled homes with intermittent electricity [Inna Lazareva/Al Jazeera]
“Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan – Though they both spend their days in the Zaatari refugee camp, share the same country of origin and even have the same first name, Ahmed and Ahmed could not be more different.
Ahmed, 33, who did not provide a last name, wears a smart jacket and sips cola in a cool cafe in the part of the camp reserved for visitors and aid staff, having secured a job with an international aid agency. Meanwhile, 55-year-old Ahmed Ali, a father of 14, spends his days in the blistering sun, running a ramshackle stall where he sells bikes, wheelbarrows and discarded, rusty bric-a-brac on an unpaved road in the desert camp.
Yet both men are in full agreement about one thing: Despite the war that has forced them to flee their country, it is not Europe or North America that they ever intend to call “home” – rather, that title will always be reserved for their native Syria.
“I love my country; I want to go back,” Ahmed Ali told Al Jazeera. “We used to have land, houses, farms and cars. We were happy, and we had enough food.” ”