Cinema Opens Doors to Young Refugees in Jordan’s Zaatari Refugee Camp

Via The National.

80 kilometers from the Jordanian capital of Amman, the world’s largest Syrian refugee camp stands with a population of at least 80,000 refugees, with a good portion of them children. Life in refugee camps such as Al-Zaatari can be extremely disheartening for adults, let alone children. In the midst of these bleak circumstances, some refuse to let go of hope.

Cinema Zaatari, the first-ever permanent movie-house for the residents of Al-Zaatari refugee camp, is set to be a window of hope to the world, with free screenings of films and documentaries.

This week’s inauguration ceremony was attended by a number of humanitarian public figures, including David Bertolotti, the French Ambassador to Jordan, and Princess Rym Ali, wife of Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan.

According to their official website, Cinema Zaatari is equipped with 120 seats and will offer daily screenings of family-friendly and regional films, as well as international films, documentaries, and animations. Furthermore, the organizers behind the project plan for it to be a cultural hub with frequent events and talks.

The people at Cinema Zaatari view the project as “a welcoming space as an answer to the violence and madness of the world”.

The project was started by the Lumiere a Zaatari non-profit foundation in Paris, which is a humanitarian organization formed in 2017, after a film crew visited the camp. French film director and producer, Xavier Giannoli, also decided to raise funds for Zaatari Cinema. Other organizations such as UNICEF and film production society Imaginarium Films also took part, raising funds to ensure the project sees the light.

“What we saw there moved us deeply and we felt compelled to do something,” the cinema’s website reads. “We wanted to leave something behind after we had gone. We didn’t want to leave and then forget.”

WE SAID THIS: Basic human necessities are the minimum refugees should be provided with. Cultural spaces to bring some sort of normalcy to their lives are also important.