By Muath Freij – Jun 13,2015 – JORDAN TIMES
Handprints are displayed on a UNHCR tent as part of an initiative marking World Refugee Day at Souk JARA on Friday (Photo by Muath Freij)
AMMAN — When Nada Abdul Raheem was touring Souk JARA in Jabal Amman, a tent showing colourful handprints attracted her attention and she decided to leave her mark as well.
Abdul Raheem said she wanted to leave her print on the tent, which used to be in the Zaatari Refugee Camp, in order to send a warm message to all refugees who are taking shelter in the Kingdom.
“I wanted to make the refugees feel that Jordan is their second home,” she told The Jordan Times.
Abdul Raheem was among many people who took part in an event held by UNHCR, along with 12 other agencies and humanitarian organisations, to mark World Refugee Day.
Helene Daubelcour, senior external relations officer at the UN Refugee Agency, said they wanted to organise an event that would include everybody who believes that the refugee case is very important.
The activity, she said, showed that humanitarian agencies stand together to “acknowledge the courage of refugees and thank Jordanians for their efforts”.
Daubelcour commended “whoever is helping”, from host communities and the authorities, to donors and partners, in addition to the refugees themselves.
Leaving a handprint on a tent that used to be at Zaatari camp is symbolic of people’ssolidarity with the plight of refugees, she added.
Razan Khalifah, Oxfam projects manager, said the agency was in JARA to encourage people to share their feelings with refugees.
“Some children wanted to leave their handprints many times as they wanted to say one hand is not enough to support refugees.”
Khalifah added that Oxfam talked to visitors of the weekly Friday souk, held in Jabal Amman near Rainbow Street, about the refugees’ issue.
“Children told us that ‘yes we are also refugees and we wanted to remind citizens that there are people around us who are refugees and people who need help’,” she added.
Jordan currently hosts around 1.4 million Syrians, some 628,160 of whom are registered with the UNHCR as refugees.