Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Fountain


The Syrians are well known for their love of beautiful courtyards, with lush green plants & musical fountains. It's a stereotypically cliche scene in every Syrian melodrama series on TV to observe the men folk gathered around the fountain sipping their tea debating over village politics whilst the women watch on; gossiping and giggling in the kitchen.
The attempt to recreate some semblance of normality in their lives by reverting to their inherited customs is a true mark of the resilience of the Syrian refugees in Za'atari. The Syrian man who built this fountain was aiming to add some beauty back into the lives of his family. As far as they are concerned this is to make their lives a little happier and in no way represents their intention to stay in Jordan.
In fact, when news broke out at the end of September that Obama was going to bomb Syria all such projects were immediately put on hold. I guess they are back in progress now.
There was such palpable joy in this small 'room' that it brought tears to my eyes. Stepping in from the dust & heat outside into this enclosure was surreal. At night when the children are asleep, the adults reclaim this space and listen to the songs of Um Kulthoom & Abdel Wahab as they smoke their argeelas and reminisce about a country that is only a stone's throw away.