Beauty in the Beastliness of War

Magic. Refugee camp. Poetry. Youth. A library.

What?! A library for refugees in a refugee camp? Poetry and writing workshops in that library? What's going on here? Backstory coming up.

Amjad's life crashed in the early days of the Syrian conflict. Violence. Hatred. Deep emotional wounds in a 20-something young man. Escape to a refugee camp. "I didn't know what a refugee was. I was a university student, not a refugee – whatever that was."

"When I came to the camp I felt that my spirit was being broken – just like so many youth around me....MORE

Nadin's Journey

Nadin left her hometown of Dera’a, Syria with her husband Mohanad in 2013 and became a refugee in Jordan. The day they left was the hardest of their lives, but it was no longer possible to stay. Half of their friends and family had died and the others had been arrested.

"I arrived bringing only my soul and my childhood memories," Nadin said describing her first moments arriving in the Za'atari Refugee Camp. "When I first saw the tents, I felt like my life had stopped."

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Manal's Story

Every week, Manal* gets together with eight other girls in a classroom. She didn't know any of them before, and now they're some of her closest friends. They are all refugees from the war-hell in Syria.

They all crossed the border into Jordan when the war broke out. One of the first things they tried was to enroll in school. But it was too late. They had been out for so many years that they couldn't catch up. Pretty bleak, after surviving hell.

Her family was so destitute that they thought they were forced to sell her to be married. At least...MORE

George in Pireaus, Athens

Thousands of refugees in the Athens port of Piraeus. Harrowing journey across the sea, first disembarking on the Greek island of Lesvos. Not everyone who left their shores made it to Greece. From Lesvos, transportation to the mainland, to Piraeus - the port for tourist cruise ships in normal times. Thousands: mothers with babies, families with small children, young people who left families and friends behind.

Giorgos (George) was motivated to go to the port to see if he could help. He is a sculptor who also repairs air conditioners in the depressed Greek economy - and himself the...MORE

A Wedding in Za'atari

I could see the clouds of dust before I could see people.

We rounded the corner and there stood a long line of men, gathered in a crescent-shaped dance line. They began to move in tandem, stomping and kicking, first with small steps and then bigger movements, dancing up a dust storm. A group of women sat to the side and watched the festivities, chatting and taking pictures and passing around juice to the guests. They were celebrating the wedding of Amjad, a volunteer in Questscope's youth center in Za'atari Refugee Camp.

Weddings look a bit different here in...MORE

Refugee Update from Curt in Europe

The most overwhelming casualty for families, children, and young men and women forced to become refugees is to find themselves suddenly as survivors with everything familiar ripped away.   

Everything gone. Changed.  Total dependence on others for food, water, shelter, safety. No choices. No friends. The shock of the gut-wrenching loss of relationships is absolutely devastating. Visible effects - homelessness, friendlessness, hunger - are compounded by invisible effects - fear, helplessness, emotions - that tear at their very sense of feeling that...MORE

The Aqaba Project

Reem and her six sisters live in Aqaba, a port city in the south of Jordan.

They have been out of school for nearly four years, ever since they fled their home in Syria. They live in a neighborhood where no young girl should walk around in the streets, so they spend most of their time cooped up inside.

For a while Reem and her family were able to get by, but the little money they had ran out. You can feel the tight pressure in the room when her dad talks about his daughters.

“Girls are especially vulnerable in this world and we’re not really...MORE

A Second Chance

This month we celebrated the opening of 28 new alternative education centers across Jordan. This is the launch point to reach over 100,000 out-of-school Jordanian and Syrian youth in the years to come. 

The Syria Crisis has been raging on for five long years.  Many Syrian refugee youth have been out of school for that entire time. Jordanian youth who were vulnerable before the crisis have even less support now as the Jordanian school system struggles under the pressure of unexpected numbers. Jordan is a country of only six million into which nearly one...MORE

A Major Milestone

We just celebrated a major milestone at our Youth Center in the Za’atari Refugee Camp: the official opening of our new sports field. It’s a rare patch of green in an oppressively brown and dusty refugee camp. Hundreds of youth now have a safe place to play and run around with their friends. 

This achievement alone is a big reason for us to celebrate. But the completion of the sports field means something even more significant: the Youth Center is now fully operational

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The Azraq Refugee Camp

No one wants to be caught in a place where there is no escape. Having no education is such a place. Having no certificate that says you have an education also leaves you in that place. Being a refugee can push you into that place. 

Questscope works with young people who have dreams for their future. They are in search of a significant life and a way to contribute to the world, but they are out of school and don’t have the support to turn these dreams into reality. We work in corners of the world where young people have lost the ability to make choices and plan for their lives...MORE

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