October 9, 2013
In Daraa, Tariq Mohammed Hamshu was a goalkeeper for his city’s soccer team. He talks with Nuha Shabaan about the grinding tedium of life as a refugee in Jordan’s Za’atari camp, less than 50 kilometers from his hometown, and his desire to escape it.
Q: How do you live and spend your time daily?
A: Every morning, I wake up at 7am and I have breakfast with my son, then go to work at the International Recue Committee from 9am to 11am. After that, I go to the market in the camp and buy what I can afford. Then, I go to bring water [from the well] to our home for our domestic needs.
I rest from 2pm to 4pm, then I meet friends from around the camp and talk about events in Syria. Lately, our topic has been the American intervention and whether Syria will turn out like Iraq or even Palestine. Then I watch some TV and sleep. This is my daily life.
Q: What are the problems you face as refugee? Have you been harassed by Jordanians?
A: I want someone to be the guarantor and sponsor me to get me out of the camp. Jordanians will ask for 100JD [around $140] to do so, and paperwork needs to be done. The municipality will ask for a 500JD [around $705] warranty. After that, if I flee, my guarantor will need to tell the police. Because of that responsibility, it is very hard to find someone to guarantee you unless they know you well.
Q: DO you have work permission here in Jordan? How much you get paid?
A: I get 10 JD [around $14] daily by the camp administration.