3 min read

The making of a refugee

June 19, 2014 Photographs by Syria Direct’s Amjad Tadros HADALAT, […]

19 June 2014

June 19, 2014

Photographs by Syria Direct’s Amjad Tadros

HADALAT, JORDAN: They lined up on the other side of the border, exhausted, carrying what was left of their possessions in small plastic bags. Some carried none at all.

In this corner of northwest Jordan, the only line of demarcation separating the Hashemite Kingdom from Syria is a wall of sand that stands barely five feet high. As far as the eye can see from here, there is only unrelenting desert. The Syrians stood quietly, waiting for the Jordanian soldiers to give the signal.

Then, they crossed. With the help of the soldiers and representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the dozens of mostly women and children climbed the sand barrier and, with that, had left Syria. 

They appeared to be in shock, having spent days to get to this point. Some women collapsed quietly, crying, turning their faces from the cameras. The UNHCR greeted them with food and water after the perilous journey as the Jordanian soldiers transported this group of Syrians to the UNHCR’s encampment, where they will stay until they are moved to Azraq camp.

Syria Direct witnessed around 500 Syrians entering Jordan on Tuesday alone at various points along the border with Syria. Below, scenes from a day at the Syrian-Jordanian border.


Halima, with the blue scarf across her face, came with her 9 children and husband from a village outside Aleppo. It took the family nine days to arrive in Jordan. “We had to get out – they are killing us,” she said, referring to President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. She had seen barrel bombs falling, and their home was destroyed. “We have nothing left,” she said, sobbing.


Waiting to leave for the nearby UNHCR encampment.


photo 2

The Jordan Armed Forces and the UNHCR work together at the border to provide relief for Syrians.



Crossing the border into Jordan.


photo 4

A solitary man enters Jordan.

Share this article