Syrian blogger Maysaloon and Syrian-American freelance photographer Mohamad Ojjeh have co-authored a piece on the Syrian border town of Atmeh for the Postcolonialist website.
Read the full story here, where you can see all of Ojjeh’s wonderful photographs of the Atmeh refugee camp.
When you cross over into the Atmeh refugee camp just within the Syrian border you are crossing into another world. It is a world of mud and despair peppered with a few specks of hope. There is bitterness, and people quickly shout at us, telling us to stop taking pictures, to bring blankets and heating gas instead. We pick our way through what is the main thoroughfare, a thoroughfare that had only recently had members of ISIL driving up, who would surely have taken exception to expat Syrians wandering freely through the camp and mixing with the inhabitants. Atmeh had, on the day of our visit, about twenty five thousand cold, hungry and desperate souls encamped within its olive groves.
As we walked past a makeshift clinic we came across a long queue of children holding buckets. This was the central kitchen where food was prepared once a day with whatever food was in their stores. We were yelled at and told to wash our shoes with water. It wouldn’t do to bring the mud of the camp in there. An apologetic supervisor explained to us that it had taken a long time to try and bring up hygiene standards in the kitchen, and we watched as the cooks prepared a gruel of some sort in half a dozen large vats. The children were still jostling outside when we walked out, and a man who stood guard outside had to yell at them to stand back…
Used with the permission of The Postcolonialist, http://postcolonialist.com
Featured Image: Photo Credit & Copyright Mohamad Ojjeh, All Rights Reserved