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Samaa Aljoumaa

Being stuck is driving me to desperation. It has for 10 years. It grows on you with time, and it has become unbearable. When we first arrived in Jordan from Syria I was younger and the reality of how long I would be here had not hit me yet. But with time it has crept up. I get into very negative spaces in my head. NGOs that offer mental health services are usually just support programs where people sit in circles and share their worries, but people treat it like a competition to see who has survived the worst. I don’t go. I used to do interpretative dance as my outlet, but the program I was starting got canceled, another group took the idea and I couldn’t join. I left the capital and live in the north of Jordan now with my family. I am trying so hard to leave this place. I cannot work legally in most sectors, and I don’t have the networks to get where I want to. I am frustrated and afraid and angry.”


I wanted to share with you as well some of the hardships I had and still struggling with as a Syrian artist living in Jordan and the way refugees are being treated here, is very sad and unfair. I myself have the right as a human being to build my own future and to choose the lifestyle I want to live in but it’s sad because after 10 years in this country I haven’t got the chance to even speak out for demanding my rights as it’s dangerous for people like me being in constant fear all day every day to maybe one day the government decides to sends us back to Syria where death awaits. But now I’m giving myself the courage to speak out.   

There are so many NGO’s here that don’t do much to help me. The minimum wage in here is 300$ while you’ll need about 700$ to survive as there isn’t so many fields for people like me to work in. 


I want to also point out that most of the NGO’s that are based here are corrupt by government officials and by the once who are taking advantage of refugees. And those are who work at the NGO’s and are locals but they got their jobs by “wasta” and wasta means that you can get any job you want if you have big connections in that field and even if you’re unqualified. 


So I’m anxious, nervous and I can’t think straight as I’m in constant fear of being locked here for ever. I’m different in way that doesn’t fit in this society where my passion is dancing and recently I have been digging deep into some of the big issues this country has and how corrupt it is and how that’s effecting me and so many others that didn’t get to choose how to live their lives. 


On top of all that, I’m also a victim of being kidnapped and raped two times by the same criminals and these people haven’t got caught and they’re still out there doing god knows what and it’s making me scared to leave the house. I have tried to work and save money to leave but I found out that there’s no point of working for nothing, it can take decades to save a few grands so I’m going out to the world opening up and sharing my story to get help. My plan is to get to New Zealand where three of my friends that I met online and have visited me here before and awaits for me to sponsor me and to work on my education and my passion with dancing. But all of that require a plane ticket only which coasts about 3000$. And I do have my passport with me that coasted me 500$ to get and it’s valid for just two years.