August 8th, 2012
01:00 AM ET

Grim conditions for Syrian refugees fleeing to Jordan

By Barbara Starr, reporting from the Al-Zaatri refugee camp in Jordan

Thirteen-year-old Amani has only been living in Al-Zaatri refugee camp in Jordan for a few days, after fleeing with her family from her home in Daraa, Syria. She left with eight other family members, many of whom are young children.

Amani is just one of the thousands of refugees fleeing the bloodbath back home, but not everyone in her family made it across the Jordanian border safely. Her mother was a martyr caught in a bomb explosion. She was hit by shrapnel and died.

"She was everything (to me) - she brought us up, and died. She would take us wherever we wanted to go, I was the one most attached to her," Amani said.

In Daraa, Amani and her family were plagued with shelling every night before they fled. The rebel Free Syrian Army finally helped Amani and her family escape to Jordan and to the refugee camp.

The regime of President Bashar al-Assad asserts that it is fighting terrorists, but for another refugee camp resident, 22-year-old Rasha, it's a much different story.

"My cousin was out at a demonstration after Friday prayers and was killed by a sniper" Rasha said.

The Jordanian government has reported more than 140,000 Syrian refugees are already in Jordan. The United Nations is trying to improve the refugees' bleak conditions by housing 100,000 in the camp.

The refugees live in packed tents that barely protect from the heat. Dust creeps in constantly. Refugees must trek across the hot dry desert to gather food and supplies.

Meanwhile, the sand whips and stings, making it hard for people to see and even breathe in these harsh conditions. Every day, more and more refugees arrive from Syria, creating overcrowding in a camp where shelter, water and electricity are scarce.

All of the agencies in charge of the camp say they are doing everything they can to improve the conditions here, but the loss of family members and blistering desert climate have proved to be very difficult for many refugees trying to adapt.

For many young refugees the Syrian military has taken away their childhood. For Amani, it happened the moment they took away her mother.

"We cried, we cried a lot, they buried her and what happened, happened. God bless her soul" Amani said.

CNN intern Alicia Tarancon contributed to this report

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. True

    USA are the biggest terrorists of all. Too bad most can't see the truth.. US is suddenly chumming up withnAl Quada? Noo they've been buddies all along. This "rebel" movement is a plot by the US to topple the regime to get to Iran. The US is the most crooked devious govt on the planet.

    August 9, 2012 at 7:35 am | Reply
  2. ryan

    CIA agents behind this op should look at these children and ask themselves – "was getting to Iranian oil worth it" ?

    August 9, 2012 at 12:19 am | Reply
  3. Lisa

    Unfortunately, there have been and always will be casualties, no matter what their age or background. And yes, there are so many surrounding issues regardring the children of America and an uncertain future (and when did this become something new?), but I will say this – at least they are not running from troops, mourning loved ones who have been blown up or needlessly slaughtered or running for their lives on 'Your Street U.S.A.' You can translate that any way you want.

    I do, however, find it so interesting to see people comment on each other's posts. Everyone comes off as mean, stupid, arrogant, too smart for the world, annoying, uninformed or just plain retarded. Yeah, I said it.And it is SO entertaining too!

    August 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • Hammerdown

      **** so many surrounding issues regardring the children of America and an uncertain future ...

      The story is about a Syrian girl escaping war and losing her mother,
      and you had to make this about Americans ?
      You are an embarrasment, and i am an American.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
      • Lisa

        You sound hot

        August 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  4. Mandor

    Brutal truth time: "Childhood", in the sense that most US citizens think of it, is an amazing luxury that has never been affordable to most of the planet. In less developed nations, childhood means you work on a farm, or work in a factor, or work trying to sell things in a market, or work in the family bakery, or work helping your father with the fishing catch, etc.

    It would be nice what we think a childhood "should" be was truly available to everyone.
    And while I'm dreaming, it would be nice if the Dems and Repubs could join hands and sing happy songs too...

    August 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Ken

      if a jacakss is being liked it doesn't stop from being a jacakss. similarly if a besuraa is liked it doesn't stop being besuraa. if people today are tasteless there is nothing one can do. That said, i was very kind in replying to you, and only criticism was atif. If u wanna have a personal go at me then i will keep all the manners aside have a full go. Choice is yours.

      November 13, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
  5. r00t4rd3d

    Typical USA reporting. Fk syria and their off spring.

    August 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  6. Whome

    Why can't we talk about and investigate the US economy? We need to worry about our children future not the kids around the world.

    August 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • Karla

      Everyone on this Earth deserves help, love, and a right to a good life, everyone!!! That's horrible to say. No one is better then the next person, no one! Our government does not care about our children let alone other countries, it's all about the benjamins baby believe that! Thank God some people care and are helping these children get out safely. God be with all who are suffering, AMEN!

      August 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • Hammerdown

      You have one planet, but cant see passed your own nose.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  7. Daryl D

    saeed probably lives here in north america, he wouldnt give up his freedoms here to take a seat back in a place like Syria, these guys are pansys... talk freely here on this site but go back to the immigrant country you came from and i bet you be smackin them lips in a whole different way

    August 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  8. saeed

    fuucc,k the usa and britain and ireland and australia and new zealand these countrys can suddenly find them selfs wiped of the surface of the earth vaporized to nothing.

    August 8, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Fearless Freep

      Ah ! Saeed.
      Still eating camel droppings i see.
      Hadnt seen you in a while.
      Thaught maybe you had blown yourself up.
      Too bad.
      Try harder.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  9. silverlithomes

    Nice piece of propaganda here. I'm sure most sheeple will agree.

    August 8, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
  10. jackola

    There would have been a lot less children hurt in Syria if our politicians (like Mrs. Clinton) did not encourage the rebels to up-rise in the face of a powerful Syrian leadership. Where is our intelligence? Why didn't we know that with the help of China,Russia, and Iran Al-Assad will come out victorious? Why did she constantly suggest that the West will come to their aid but never did? Perhaps because the rebellion was hijacked by Al-Qaida and other Islamic terror groups? It seems like our own faltering leadership has contributed to the misery of Syria's children.

    August 8, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Parfin Woodell

      Hillary is wearing her flak jacket and running up a hill
      with her AK47 screaming Death to Bashar.

      You are an idiot.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  11. Daniel

    saeed, I highly doubt that. You know, it seriously should be international law to make government killing civilians for no good reason illegal, so that the UN can have an excuse to remove the dictator. I know the UN is for "peacekeeping" only but they'd be doing the world a huge favor other than bystand.

    August 8, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Parfin Woodell

      It is illegal.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
      • Matteo

        Sounds like she wrote about what can be a frustrating and setivnsie issue (mother daughter stuff) in a fun sort of light hearted way. The no contraction thing would bother me too though, LOL!

        November 11, 2012 at 6:56 am |
  12. Thomas Henley

    It's sad when Children suffer the folly of intollerant adults bent on might makes right, what's sadder still is no one cries for the child victims of the US War Machine...Iraqi Children are being born with birth defects left and right because of the nation being littered with depleted radioactive uranium shells, and the toxic waste of the mechanized war machine.

    Afghan Children watch their parents blown to bits even as their own limbs are ripped assunder by the same American bombs that took their parents,

    Meanwhile the only tragedies we see are the infrequent violence caused to children by the local extremists, not our own much more efficient and profecient war machine.

    All the while many Palestinian Children often have to resort to eating grass to survive and don't get me wrong I feel just as badly for the kids in Syria as any of the other nations where War has come to call thanks to our gunboat foreign policy and hunger for opium and oil.

    Funny how the media doesn't care about them, and the war mongerers shed no tears, but all of a sudden these children are a tragedy.

    It would be great if it led to people reassessing their own views and responsibility for the tragedies we visit on children all over the world through the violent might makes right system but some how I doubt that!

    August 8, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
    • Yoshi Togukawa

      I heard about you. While your words are very nice, you affirmations are part of a world full of conspiracies, where the evil American Government is manipulating the world for its need of opium and oil. You think you are always right
      " Watashi wa saik┼Źdesu", while you call those who do not agree influenced by the CIA or manipulated by the media or something like that. Just too bad you see the world in black and white. It makes you miss all the colours.

      August 8, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply
      • Thomas Henley

        Wow how very flattering you have 'heard' about me...while you create a straw man argument based on what you purport to have heard to knock down while you deflect from the actual substance of my post.

        Now what do you imagine that accomplishes? Rather than discuss the ideas and contentions I have put forth, you have chosen to discuss me instead.

        When you have no basis for an argument abuse the plaintiff – Marcus Tulius Cicero

        Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas -Eleanor Roosevelt

        I think that pretty much sums up your failed rebuttal and response.

        August 8, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  13. saeed

    the only reson usa and britain are shipping weapons into syria is because they want to control the oil in the region. they see china rising and they no that they cant compete against china so they resort to terrorism.

    August 8, 2012 at 5:29 am | Reply
    • Yoshi Togukawa

      Syria barely has any oil. What oil?

      August 8, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Parfin Woodell

      Syria is ranked 34th in the world in oil exports.
      They may as well be exporting tea.
      Its a drop in the bucket.
      Means nothing.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
    • Fearless Freep


      Drinking camel pee is not good for you.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply

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