Beyond the Camps: Images of the Syrian Exodus

October 23, 2013

This summer, Life of the Law’s Alisa Roth reported on Syria under a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. The excerpt below is from her co-authored article in The New York Review of Books in which she shares images from the region. 

In sheer numbers alone, the scale of Syria’s humanitarian crisis is difficult to grasp: a third of the country’s 22.5 million people have abandoned their homes; 10 percent have fled the country, including more than one million children. As we describe in our article in The New York Review, however, the crisis has also been hard to understand because the Syrians who have fled are dispersed in hundreds of villages, towns, and cities across the region. These photographs, taken during our reporting for the story, show some of the many different situations we encountered among Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq.


Partly because of high-profile visitors like John Kerry and Jon Stewart, camps like Zaatari, in northern Jordan, have received a lot of attention in the media. But only a quarter of the more than two million Syrian refugees live in camps.


Most refugees live in urban areas, struggling to survive with little help from local or international aid groups. Some live in squatter communities like this one in a field in Amman, Jordan. The family who lives in this tent ‘borrows’ electricity from a factory next door. The men work occasional odd jobs at a wholesale produce market nearby. Roughly half a million Syrians are thought to live in Jordan.


Fuaz Ruhayyad, a butcher from Homs, came to Mafraq, Jordan with his family, after his brother and other relatives were killed for being Sunni.

Find the rest of the images here.