1. Home
  2. Middle East and North Africa
  3. Jordan

Noora Nadi, Jordan, “Nobody cares about refugees from Gaza”

[Jordan] Noora Nadi, 40, a Palestinian refugee living in Baqaa camp, 20 km west of Amman. [Date picture taken: 12/16/2006] Maria Font de Matas/IRIN
Noora Nadi, 40, a Palestinian refugee living in Baqaa camp, 20 km west of Amman.
Widow Noora Nadi, 40, a Palestinian refugee living in Baqaa camp, 20 km west of Amman, is struggling to make ends meet to support her three children after her husband died two years ago.

She spoke to IRIN about her calamity and the bleak future she foresees.

“I have been struggling to feed my family since my husband died. UNRWA [United Nations Agency for Relief and Work for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] does not provide me with financial assistance and officials from the Jordanian government say I do not qualify for social aid like many widows in this country because I do not have Jordanian nationality.

I am paying the price of my parent’s decision to come to Jordan after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Refugees who came to the country after that date were given temporary passports but not Jordanian nationality, contrary to those who arrived in Jordan after [the Arab-Israeli conflict in] 1948. The latter can work everywhere and enter government-run universities, but we are treated like foreigners.

My 22-year-old son is not allowed to work in the government because he is not considered Jordanian, although he was born here.

I work in nearby farms picking fruits and taking care of animals from early morning to sunset. My mother is sick and too old to take care of herself.

I do not know what is going to happen to my family if I become ill. Nobody seems to care about refugees from Gaza. I asked the Palestinian embassy to help me go to Gaza, where most of my family lives, but they dismissed me saying an agreement with Israel means I cannot go until a permanent solution to the refugees problem is found.

In Jordan, I am treated as if I were a rich tourist. I am not allowed to go to a government-run hospital for free treatment, while waiting lists at the UNRWA clinics are very long. I am afraid if one of my kids falls ill I will have to sell my furniture to provide medication.

Winter has now arrived. When it rains, the ceiling leaks on our heads. I do not have the money to fix it. Moreover, I cannot afford fuel to fill my heater and my children do not have enough clothes to warm themselves.

I am still a refugee who lost everything: my home country, my husband and now I am afraid I will also lose my children. The UN must live up to its responsibility and provide me with help. If not, Jordan must step in and do something to allow my son to work."

mbh/ar/ed

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article

Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.

Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.

We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.

Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian. 

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.

Join