Home > News and Views > Photo Galleries > Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery - Za'atari Refugees Put Their Entrepreneurial Skills to Work

Za'atari Refugees Put Their Entrepreneurial Skills to Work

Added: 04 Jun 2014

In Za'atari refugee camp, near the Syrian border in northern Jordan, a bustling market made up of barber shops, video game arcades, mobile phone stores and more is thriving, serving a resourceful population of almost 100,000 forcibly displaced people. What started out as a few shops selling second-hand clothing has developed into a shopper's delight of nearly 3,000 stores scattered across the camp. For locals strolling through what they dub the "Champs-Élysées," front load washers, pet birds, rotisserie chickens, lingerie and wedding dresses are just some of the diverse products on offer.

A UNHCR staff member who often visits the camp says all of the shops are illegal but tolerated, and the commerce has the added benefit of creating job opportunities and a more dynamic camp. Residents spend an estimated US$12 million in the camp's shopping district monthly. "Before it was really hard, but things are progressing and people are improving their shops," says Hamza, the co-owner of the Zoby Nut Shop. Photographer Shawn Baldwin visited the camp recently to capture its booming entrepreneurial spirit.

• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •
Photo Galleries

Photo Galleries

UNHCR has a collection of more than 250,000 photos. View some of the best of them here.