Smoke over black background

+سبعون

Seventy+

عاما من

Years of

الاختناق

Suffocation

photography by Tanya Habjouqa

Chapter 2: Jordan

Jordan

Jerash Camp

Jordan is the country that hosts the largest number of Palestinian refugees (PR). Most but not all of them hold Jordanian nationality.

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), more than 2 million registered Palestinian refugees now live in Jordan. Most reside in cities and villages alongside Jordanians, while 370,000 live in camps, 10 of them official and three of them unofficial.

Around three quarters of the over 2 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan hold full Jordanian citizenship and therefore have a national identification number, which allows them access to the labour market and public health and education services. However, a significant minority, most of whom arrived in Jordan from the Gaza Strip, as opposed to the West Bank, do not possess Jordanian citizenship. A national census carried out by Jordan’s Department of Statistics in 2016 put their number at 634,182. They are excluded from rights and services enjoyed by citizens and are amongst the most destitute communities in Jordan.

The difference in treatment between Palestinian refugees who moved to Jordan from Gaza and those who came from the West Bank has its roots in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Following the 10-month Arab-Israeli war in 1948, the Egyptian army took control of the Gaza Strip, while Jordan’s Arab Legion entered the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Jordan formally annexed the West Bank on 24 April 1950 in a move that gained little recognition from the international community. It was a source of considerable disagreement within the Arab League, which ended up adopting what was considered then a face-saving solution: “to treat the Arab part of Palestine annexed by Jordan as a trust in its hands until the Palestine case is fully solved in the interests of its inhabitants”.

To further formalize the status of the newly added population and territory, Jordan, under the rule of King Hussein bin Talal, issued a nationality law in 1954 extending Jordanian citizenship to “any person who, not being Jewish, possessed Palestinian nationality before 15 May 1948 and was a regular resident in [Jordan] between 20 December 1949 and 16 February 1954”. This measure covered all residents in the West Bank, including refugees who had been displaced from other Palestinian villages and cities in what is now Israel. Meanwhile, Gaza and its residents remained under Egyptian control.

The annexation more than doubled the population of Jordan and the new citizens were granted equal access to work in all sectors of the state and half the seats of the Jordanian parliament were reserved for representatives they elected. The developments did not, however, lead automatically to changes in the economic situation of Palestinian refugees and many continued to live in camps, where they received UNRWA assistance for health care and education.

The annexation persisted until the defeat of the Arab armies in the June 1967 war with Israel. As a result of the war, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip came under Israeli military occupation. Around 300,000 Palestinian refugees fled both the West Bank and Gaza to Jordan during and in the aftermath of the conflict.

After the war, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), under the chairmanship of Yasser Arafat, moved its base to Jordan, from where it launched military operations against Israel. As the PLO’s power grew, its leadership began criticizing what they characterized as King Hussein’s conciliatory policies towards Israel and challenged his claims to the West Bank, as well as his control of Jordan. Some factions within the PLO ended up calling for Jordan’s monarchy to be overthrown. In response, Jordan launched a military campaign against the PLO and, by July 1971, had forced it out of Jordan. The campaign was dubbed “Black September” and resulted in the relocation of the PLO to Lebanon.

In July 1988, at the height of the first Palestinian Intifada (uprising) against Israeli military occupation and amidst growing support for the PLO, Jordan relinquished its claims to the West Bank. King Hussein announced the severance of all administrative and legal ties with the occupied West Bank and explained his decision as one of deference to Palestinian wishes for national autonomy.

Jordan’s borders were thus reset to pre-1948 boundaries and its population no longer included all those living in the West Bank. Jordan kept guardianship over Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and joined the Arab League in recognizing the PLO as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”.

The decision had a major impact on the 760,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank, who made up 20% of the Jordanian population at the time. Jordan revoked their citizenship and offered them temporary travel documents instead.

Palestinians of West Bank origin who were living in Jordan proper or residing in a third country generally maintained their Jordanian nationality. However, in the 2000s, Jordan arbitrarily cancelled the national identity documents of thousands of these individuals. It revoked their Jordanian citizenship and gave them temporary travel documents that needed to be renewed after a certain period of time, usually ranging from two to five years. These temporary travel documents are not coupled with a national identification number, meaning their holders do not have access to the benefits of Jordanian citizenship.

Palestinian refugees who came to Jordan from the Gaza Strip, many of whom had previously been forcibly displaced from their homes in what became Israel, were never given Jordanian citizenship and have consequently remained stateless. They had had access to Egyptian travel documents during the period of Egypt’s control over the Gaza Strip between 1948 and 1967, but not Egyptian citizenship. When thousands of them escaped Gaza to Jordan after the 1967 war, the Jordanian authorities issued them temporary travel documents, which they and their offspring are still required to renew every two years in a bureaucratic procedure that involves the Ministry of Interior and the approval of the prime minister. Most of these Palestinian refugees reside in refugee camps in Jordan.

While the temporary travel documents Palestinian refugees without citizenship are issued serve as identity cards, their lack of citizenship places them in an insecure position in Jordan. They lack access to welfare support for the poor. They only benefit from UNRWA’s education and health care services. While they can access public schools and universities, they have to do so as foreigners and thus pay double the tuition fees. They are not eligible for public health insurance, which allows Jordanian citizens access to free or low-cost medical consultations, medicine and hospitalization.

They are barred from most positions of employment in the public sector and need special work permits to obtain jobs in the private sector. They have no access to professions such as law and engineering as jobs in these areas require membership of the relevant syndicate, which is only open to citizens. The Jordanian labour law sets clear restrictions on the work of non-citizens. Article 12 requires the employment of non-Jordanians to be approved by the minister of labour or their delegate. In practice, this means they are expected to either possess a set of skills not found in the Jordanian workforce or work in a sector lacking sufficient Jordanian employees.

Until recently they were unable to own land, property or diesel-run vehicles, whose use is predominantly in commerce and agriculture. On 3 December 2018, following a call from members of the lower house of the Jordanian parliament to alleviate the dire conditions of more than 150,000 Palestinian refugees from Gaza, the government of Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz decided to allow heads of families from this group to own property and land of an area not exceeding 1 acre for the purpose of constructing a family house and diesel-run vehicles.

In 2017, among other severe economic measures, the government raised the cost of issuing and renewing temporary travel documents from 25 to 200 Jordanian dinars (from US$35 to 282). To mitigate that hike, the government reconfirmed a 2016 decision to exempt residents who hold temporary travel documents from paying fees for work permits.

Amnesty International calls on Jordan to amend the legal status of Palestinian refugees who are not Jordanian citizens, including those who arrived in the Gaza Strip and their descendants, to ensure their human rights are better protected. These refugees are unable to move to Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories given the Israeli authorities’ refusal to comply with UN General Assembly Resolution 194 protecting the right to return of Palestinian refugees, including those residing currently in Jordan.

Whether through naturalization or other measures, the Jordanian authorities should guarantee the rights of these refugees to work, health, education and housing on a par with Jordanian citizens.

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Jerash camp, known informally as Gaza camp, was set up on 0.76km2 of land in the governorate of Jerash, northern Jordan, in 1968 in an emergency measure to host about 11,500 Palestinian refugees who had come from Gaza.

Between 1968 and 1971, emergency donations managed by UNRWA were used to build 2,000 shelters. As time passed, many Palestinian refugees replaced their makeshift housing structures with more durable concrete homes, yet many roofs are still made of corrugated iron and sheets of asbestos, exposure to which has serious health risks.

Current UNRWA statistics set the number of registered refugees in Jerash camp at 29,000. The vast majority are Palestinians who fled Gaza for Jordan after the 1967 war having previously been forcibly displaced from their homes in what became Israel or their descendants. Israel bars them going to live in either Israel or Gaza.

Only 6% of them are Jordanian citizens. Some 90% hold two-year temporary travel documents. They depend on the food coupons and packages and health and education services provided by UNRWA.

According to a study published in 2013, UNRWA considered Jerash camp to be the poorest of the 10 Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, with 52.7% of its residents having an income below the national poverty line.

UNRWA is the only source of primary health care for the Palestinian refugees in the camp. This includes medical care for chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure). It also covers part of the hospitalization fees in public hospitals for camp residents without Jordanian citizenship.

UNRWA is also the sole provider of education for children in Jerash camp. Four UN schools in two buildings work in double shifts. Classrooms are overcrowded and lack adequate facilities. Only 13% of the children in the camp pursue higher education.

Palestinian refugees in Jerash camp have very restricted access to employment given that, in the vast majority of cases, they are not Jordanian citizens. The camp is also in a rather remote area with limited access to employment opportunities.

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The sky over the Jerash refugee camp in northern Jordan
Palestinian refugees from Jerash camp in an office building in Amman, Jordan
Palestinian refugees from Jerash camp in an office building in Amman, Jordan

Jundiah Awwad

Jundiah Awwad
Jundia Awwad, 48, is a social worker whose family is from Beersheba, a city in what is now southern Israel. She was born in Jordan and has lived her entire life in Jerash camp. Her parents told her that their family house in Beersheba was burned down during the Nakba in 1948, when the Israeli military took over the area. The family fled and sought refuge in the Gaza Strip, where they stayed in Khan Younis camp for 19 years. When the 1967 war broke out, the family fled Gaza to Jordan and settled in Jerash camp. Jundia described her life as a refugee in Jerash camp with pain:

“I grew up in the hope that tomorrow we will return to Palestine, but instead we stayed in houses made of asbestos sheets, a material that causes cancer… I don’t want a national [identity] number; I want my human rights. I want to live like other human beings. I want health care, proper education and infrastructure. I want equality.”

Despite all the hardship, Jundia is a defiant woman. She dedicates her life to voluntary social work and is always ready to help people in the camp. She currently helps the sick and elderly by raising money to buy medical supplies and equipment for them through crowdfunding schemes.

Mohamad Al-Duhayni

Mohamad Al-Duhayni

Mohammad Al-Duhayni, 10, is Jundia’s nephew. When not in school, Mohammad accompanies his aunt while she is distributing aid to people in need. He sees her as a role model and wants to be a volunteer himself. Although Palestinian refugees without Jordanian citizenship – which he does not have – cannot practise dentistry in Jordan, Mohammad dreams of becoming a dentist. Wearing a white dentist’s coat, he told Amnesty International:

“I wear this white coat, so I feel like a doctor and I become a doctor. I want to treat the people of the camp. I will open a clinic for the poor people of the camp who cannot afford to pay. I will treat them for free.”

Mohammad is full of hope and dreams. He loves the camp and its people, and he wants it to be a better place for him and for everyone – a place where he can play, grow and feel safe. He told Amnesty International:
“I want playgrounds in the camp, so I can play with my friends. I want a Luna Park too. I wish we had clean streets and proper houses that do not leak water when it rains. I wish we had a fire station so that it doesn’t take firefighters forever to put out a fire in the camp.”
“I want playgrounds in the camp, so I can play with my friends. I want a Luna Park too. I wish we had clean streets and proper houses that do not leak water when it rains. I wish we had a fire station so that it doesn’t take firefighters forever to put out a fire in the camp.”
Busaina Taleb

Busaina Taleb

Busaina Taleb, a 42-year-old beautician, was born in Jerash camp. Busaina’s family is from Beersheba. Her parents fled from Beersheba to the Gaza Strip during the Nakba in 1948 and, following the 1967 war, fled again, this time to Jordan. When she was a child, Busaina and her 14 siblings – nine brothers and five sisters – lived in one room in the camp. Her father worked as a farmer in Jordan, growing seasonal crops, but could barely make ends meet to cover the family expenses. The harsh reality of her life as a child in a refugee camp made Busaina all the more determined to change her situation. She said:
“One time at school, the sole of my shoe broke. Water and cold found their way in. I asked my father for new shoes so he cut a piece of cardboard and put it in my shoe. When the cardboard got wet he replaced it with a new one. I had to wait for a month until he was able to buy me new shoes. I will never forget this. Since then, all I’ve wanted to do is to study hard and find a job that allows me to buy decent shoes.”  

Busaina started working at an early age while still studying. In her final year at high school she had to pick olives for two weeks to save enough money to pay the registration fees to sit the official exams. She explained how, despite passing those exams, her dire economic situation prevented her from choosing the university degree she wanted to take:

“I wanted to be a nurse, but I had to choose a college that is close to the camp because I couldn’t afford transportation expenses. So, I studied at the Al-Balqa’ Applied University and I graduated as a beautician with high distinction.”

Busiana teaches beauty courses at UNRWA’s Women’s Programme Centre in Jerash camp. She is proud of the women she has taught, who are now financially independent and can support themselves and their families. She believes her work empowers the women of the camp.
Busaina started working at an early age while still studying. In her final year at high school she had to pick olives for two weeks to save enough money to pay the registration fees to sit the official exams. She explained how, despite passing those exams, her dire economic situation prevented her from choosing the university degree she wanted to take:

“I wanted to be a nurse, but I had to choose a college that is close to the camp because I couldn’t afford transportation expenses. So, I studied at the Al-Balqa’ Applied University and I graduated as a beautician with high distinction.”

Busiana teaches beauty courses at UNRWA’s Women’s Programme Centre in Jerash camp. She is proud of the women she has taught, who are now financially independent and can support themselves and their families. She believes her work empowers the women of the camp.
Heba Hassan Ayyash
Heba Hassan Ayyash sings a song about homeland.
Heba Hassan Ayyash sings a song about homeland.

Heba Hassan Ayyash

Heba Hassan Ayyash, a 20-year-old pharmacy student, was born and raised in Jerash camp. Her parents are from Imara, a former Palestinian village near Beersheba that was depopulated and destroyed after the Israeli military took over the area during the Nakba in 1948; they fled first to Gaza and then to Jordan following the 1967 war. Heba explained how discrimination against Palestinian refugees dictated what many of her schoolmates chose to study at university: “The first challenge we face starts when we are about to graduate from high school. There are limited spaces at public universities for Palestinian refugees [without Jordanian citizenship]. Jordanian nationals have priority when spaces for studying at public universities are allocated. Many Palestinian refugees end up with subjects imposed on them just to get a degree.”

Heba added that if they want to study at a private university then they face the challenge of finding the money to pay for the expensive tuition fees all students are charged at these institutions. Heba faced this challenge in her first year as a pharmacy student at Philadelphia University, a private institution in Amman. She explained:“I studied for one semester and then I had to stop for a semester. My parents couldn’t pay my tuition fees and I couldn’t find a job to pay for myself. Once I got financial aid, I enrolled again. I got the aid from people in the camp who help students in financial need.”

After she graduates, Heba will not be able to work as a pharmacist as Palestinian refugees without citizenship are unable to obtain jobs in the profession, which are only open to Jordanians. Yet, she remains hopeful:“Sometimes I feel sad when I think about the future. I cannot work as a pharmacist because I don’t have a national [identity] number. I cannot even open a pharmacy in the camp. But I don’t regret my choice. I think one day, there will be a solution. Something will change in this country and our world will become a better place.”

Mohamad Rayan

Mohamad Rayan

Mohammad Rayan, 27, is an unemployed civil engineer who was born and raised in Jerash camp. Mohammad’s family is from Qastina, a former Palestinian village in an area north-east of Gaza City that is now part of Israel and that was depopulated and destroyed by the Israeli military during the Nabka. His grandmother fled from Qastina to the area that became known as the Gaza Strip and then left with her children during the 1967 war to take refuge in Jordan. She first settled in Zizya camp and then moved with her family to Jerash camp.

Arabic writing class in the 5th elementary UNRWA tented school. Credit: UNRWA

Mohammad graduated from university with a degree in civil engineering. He explained that, without a national identity number, however, he could not work in this profession, which is only open to Jordanian citizens:

“After I graduated, all doors got locked in my face. I cannot work in my profession because I do not have a national number. Instead, I work in carpentry. I feel dead in this country. There is no hope.”

Um Ahmad

Um Ahmad
Um Ahmad, 48, is a social worker and mother of six children. Her family is from Beersheba. They fled from Beersheba to the Gaza Strip during the Nakba in 1948 and, following the 1967 war, fled again to Jordan. Um Ahmad was born in Jerash camp, where she still lives. She holds a degree in education, but has not been able to work in this profession; jobs in the teaching profession are closed to her and other Palestinian refugees who do not have Jordanian citizenship. With disappointment in her eyes, she told Amnesty International:

“This suffering is because I am Palestinian. My dream was to be a teacher and watch my six children graduate and work in their professions. Instead, I watched my daughter live the same experience as me. She holds a data entry degree. After she graduated, she applied for a position in a government centre. She was accepted for the job, but, once they found out that she didn’t have a national [identity] number, they rejected her. Three years have already passed since her graduation, and she still cannot find a job.”
The view of Amman, Jordan from the window of a Palestinian activist originally from Jerash camp. The activist is one of very few to have left the camp.
The view of Amman, Jordan from the window of a Palestinian activist originally from Jerash camp. The activist is one of very few to have left the camp.

Sanaa

Sanaa
Sanaa, 33, is a teacher and mother of six children. Her family is from Beersheba. Her parents fled to Gaza during the Nakba and then to Jordan from Gaza in 1968, after the 1967 war. Sanaa was born in Jerash camp and she still lives there with her family in a small house with two rooms. She teaches at a private school but without a contract. Sanaa expressed her frustration with this situation to Amnesty International:

“I have no health insurance and they can lay me off at any moment. If I had a national [identity] number, I would have enjoyed all labour protections and my children would have health insurance.”

Although Palestinian children without citizenship benefit from a royal decree that stipulates that all children under the age of six have access to free health care services, Sanaa reports that she was discriminated against in a public hospital when one of her children became sick in early 2017. She described her experience with bitterness:

“My child had whooping cough. I took him immediately to a public hospital. His condition was very bad and I wanted to admit him to the hospital. But the doctor gave him medicine and sent us back home. At night, his condition deteriorated. He couldn’t breathe. I took him again to the hospital but this time with the birth certificate of the son of my Jordanian friend. In no time, my child was admitted to the hospital for treatment. A Jordanian birth certificate saved his life.”

Nada

Nada
Nada, 32, is the childhood friend of Sanaa. She is a mother of two and an optician with 11 years of experience. Nada wanted to open her own optician’s practice, but without a national number could not apply for the license. She described the experience:

“In 2015, I opened my own optician’s practice in the camp. When the Ministry of Health found out about it, it closed it down. I felt as if I was suffocating. This was my only source of income.”
Nada and Sanaa worry about the future of their children. They complain about UNRWA schools, which provide education for Palestinian refugees until grade 10 (that is, until around 15 years). They say that their children’s classrooms are overcrowded. Each classroom has 45 to 55 students per teacher. Sanaa explained the educational challenges facing her daughter, who is in grade seven (for children aged around 12 years):

“My daughter has no fixed classroom. They move the students from one room to another depending on the availability of rooms. They call her classroom the ‘flying classroom’. She and her classmates keep running from one floor to the other.”

Mohamad Abu Nasser

Mohamad Abu Nasser

Mohammad Abu Nasser, 59, was seven when he fled with his parents to Jordan from Gaza. His family is from Tel al-Saba, a former Palestinian village near Beersheba that was depopulated and destroyed after the Israeli military took over the area during the Nakba in 1948. They first fled to the Gaza Strip and were displaced again after the 1967 war. He still remembers his family’s displacement from Gaza to Jordan in detail and explained the final part of the journey to Amnesty International:

“We were all in one truck: children, women and men with the furniture. We crossed King Hussein Bridge [from the West Bank to Jordan] in 1968. At Jerash camp, each family got one tent. We were 15 family members sharing one tent. It was an extremely difficult life. There were no toilets and people queued for hours to get a bucket of water.”

Mohammad explained that it took several years for the conditions in the camp to improve. Housing units and schools were built in the 1980s, when basic infrastructure was also introduced. Nonetheless, he felt that extreme poverty still prevailed in the camp.

Mohamad worked for years as an Arabic teacher and dreamed of obtaining a doctorate in Arabic language. He has 10 children and proudly described himself as their catalyst to study hard and achieve a solid education:

“For people like us, our education is our only weapon. We don’t own property. We don’t have social security. You have nothing to invest in except yourself. So, we study.”

Mohammad continued to study and, at the age of 48, accomplished his dream of a doctorate in Arabic language. For Mohammad, education is as important as preserving Palestinians’ collective memory. He believes that both are forms of resistance and means to safeguard Palestinian identity. He preserves the key of the family’s house in the former village of Tel al-Saba with great care. He explained that his father gave it to him and that he would give it to his son:

“When my father left Palestine, he brought the key of our house with him. My family were sure they would return. My father gave me the key when I was 30 years old. I hang the key on the entrance to my house in Jerash camp. When the time comes, I will give it to my son. The Palestinian collective memory cannot be erased. We will pass it on from one generation to the other.”

Acknowledgments: Amnesty International is grateful to all the interviewees who entrusted it with their testimonies. Special thanks are due to the NGO Bidaya Jadida and collaborators in the initiative known as Sama Gaza, who helped Amnesty International reach out to the interviewees.

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Archival Materials
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Young Palestine refugees prepare a playground at the youth activities centre,Jarash camp,north of Amman,Jordan,1971. Credit:UNRWA
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Arabic writing class in the 5th elementary UNRWA tented school :Jerash emergency camp (POP.11.000 ) East Jordan, since this photo was taken the tented classrooms in Jerash camp were replaces with prefabricated classrooms made possible with contributions from government and voluntary agencies. Credit: UNRWA
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Refugee children on a hillside overlooking Jarash camp for Palestine refugees, east Jordan, Credit: UNRWA by M. Nasr, 1973
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Jerash emergency camp for Palestine Arab refugees (pop. 12,000) : East Jordan Credit: UNRWA by George Nehmeh
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Jerash emergency camp for Palestine Arab refugees (pop. 12,000) : East Jordan Credit: UNRWA by George Nehmeh
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Jerash refugee camp. Credit: UNRWA
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Jerash refugee camp. Credit: UNRWA
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Jerash refugee camp. Credit: UNRWA
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Jerash Arab refugee camp where prefab shelters will shortly replace the tents of today. The eleven thousand refugees in Jerash tented camp in east Jordan will be among the first to benefit from an emergency shelter program being carried out by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) with all possible speed before the onset of the worst of the winter weather, with the approval of the government of Jordan with $ 500000 provided by Near East Emergency Donations Inc. (need) , UNRWA is erecting 2,000 one-room family shelters in Jerash camp and 250 two-room units in another UNRWA camp at Marqe, Other special donations are being applied to the program as they are received. Credit: UNRWA by Odd Uhpbom
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Prefabricated shelters, Jerash Emergency Camp (Pop. 11,000) East Jordan. More than 11,000 Palestine refugees and displaced persons live in this emergency camp near the magnificent ruins of the great Graeco-Roman city of Jerash, The camp was opened in haste on March 3rd, 1968 when renewed hostilities caused the education of all the UNRWA emergency refugee camps that had been set up in the Jordan Valley after the June 1967 war, as was the case in all of the emergency camps at first, the only shelters for the refugees in Jerash were tents. But thanks to special contributions from a number of organizations and governments, a shelter program was initiated by winter of 1968 to provide the refugees with temporary shelters-mainly prefabs-that would afford better protection from the elements. This photograph was taken in 1968 at the time when the first prefabs were going up in Jerash camp. Refugees who left their homes in Palestine following the 1948 hostilities and who were uprooted for the second time in their lives in 1967. Persons who were not previously refugees but were displaced as a result of the June 1967 war. Credit: UNRWA by Munir Nasr, 1981
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In The Nick of Time, Just before christmas 1968 the Palestine Arab refugees in the Jerash emergency camp(11,000) , were able to move into these pre-fabricated shelters. The tents in which they endured the dusty heat of summer and faced the severities of winter are now being used by many for storage. The one-room cabins are 10 feet by 14 feet with asbestos walls on a timber frame and hardboard lining which helps insulate against the elements. They were provided by need (The Near East Emergency Donations Inc.) There displaced refugees are not yet so fortunate. It is race against time: as UNRWA received additional contributions, so new shelters can be erected and more and more refugee families spared the rigors of winter. See also our picture RJ-Jerash-1, which was taken from exactly the same spot-only a few months earlier, when the refugee tents had not yet been replaced with prefabs. Credit: UNRWA, 1981
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In The Nick of Time, Just before Christmas 196 the 11,000 Palestine Arab refugees in Jerash emergency camp were able to move into these pre-Fabricated shelters. The tents in which they endured the dusty heat of summer and faced the severities of winter are now being used by many for storage. The one-room cabins (they are 10 feet by 14 feet) have asbestos walls on timber frame, with hardboard lining which helps insulate against the elements. They were provided by need (the Near East Emergency Donations Inc.) Credit: UNRWA, 1981