CNN: Assad Made Beggars Out Of His People:' Syrian Refugees Flood Into Jordan

January 31, 2014

By Atika Shubert and Bharati Naik, CNN


Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan (CNN) -- They carried teapots and tiny gas canisters, shopping bags filled with clothes and overstuffed bundles of blankets balanced on their heads. Many held jerry cans, once full with water, now dangling empty.


This was our first day in Jordan, and nothing could have prepared us for the scene in front of us: Hundreds of refugees from Syria making the long walk to safety in Jordan, one long jagged line stretching out into the open desert.


SEE MORE: Stunning photo gallery of Syria's refugees


The refugees came from the outskirts of Damascus, walking for days in order to escape the ugly civil war that has engulfed their country for the past three years. Their destination, like so many thousands before them, is the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The numbers are staggering: Syrian refugees are now estimated to make up 10% of Jordan's population.


These are the scenes I remember the most from our journey from the Syria-Jordan border to Zaatari.



  • Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have streamed into Jordan since 2011

  • More than 100,000 Syrians now call Zaatari refugee camp home

  • Half of Zaatari's population are children; 42% of families have a female head of household

  • U.N. estimates nearly 3 million children in Syria have been forced to quit their education


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