Welcome to Ruweishid - 06.06.2006

This week Alive in Baghdad will take you to the Ruweishid Refugee Camp.

Ruweishid was constructed in 2003, after a decree from King Hussein ordered that refugees stranded in the “No Man’s Land” between Iraq and Jordan, be allowed safe harbor within Jordan proper.

Unfortunately, the refugees soon found conditions in Jordan’s Eastern Desert were not much more hospitable than the No Man’s Land. Although they are safe from random killings and the violence of Iraq’s war zone, not much else is better.

Refugees there suffer from the heat in summer and cold in winter. Poisonous insects are rampant, while water and electricity are a scarce commodity.

Many of the refugees you will hear in this video are teachers, they are struggling to provide their children an education. This is harder than even one might be able to imagine, they lack school books and even pencils and paper are scarce.

Against everything they are surviving, and have been there now for three years. They aren’t allowed to leave the camp, except for medical emergencies, and visitors may only come with permission from the Ministry of Interior or the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

I have not included much footage of the camp in this segment, wanting the faces of the refugees to speak to you themselves. I will be including another video post of much of the b-roll from Ruweishid.

Next week we hope to bring the first segment of newly recorded footage from Baghdad, if this proves impossible, we will have another segment, likely focusing on a conference here in Amman last week, examining the possibilities for non-violence in Iraq.

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