Photoreportage by Michele Pero, professional photographer and photojournalist. Photojournalism, advertisement photography, commercial photography, wedding photojournalism, Florence, Italy. Photographs and features from Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Umbria earthquake, fakir dervishes, the nomadic of the wind and more. Michele Pero is teacher of photography at TheDarkroom, photography courses and multimedia school of Florence.

Syria - the forgotten of Azaz

Refugee camp of Azaz, Syrian border. Refugees from Halep and surroundings have lost their houses under bombings. They left Halep with just the clothes they had at that time. They have no documents, no money, no belongings anymore. They believed in passing the Turkish border to escape the massacres, but after a limited number of refugees which have been accepted by the Turkish government, and settled to the nearby camp of Kilis, right after the Turkish border, the border was closed. They had to settle in the camp right on the Syrian border, waiting for a move that does not arrive. Turkey cannot take more refugees and cannot do more than what actually it does. They must stay were they are, with no home to Syria anymore, no passport to leave the country, almost convicted to stay in the camp.
The exceeding refugees not accepted to Turkey were settled on September 2012 under the big hangars once used by Syrian custom police for to store and check up goods before to let them pass the border. For months the refugees had to sleep right on the pavements, under hangars, under trucks or any other shelter available. No heating, no running water, no latrines, no roof above their heads.
Tents arrived just at around the mid of November 2012, donated by the Red Crescent of Qatar. Since that, three hangars were filled with tents, then other tents were necessarily set on open ground. At December 2012, refugees of the Azaz camp are about 7000.
Life at the camp is hard. Volunteers from various ONG such as IHH provide for meals every day. Supplies come from world wide reliefs and volunteer donations, but they are not enough to many. Tents are not wet proof. Pavements are wet all the times the rain falls, especially those ones settled on open ground. No electricity is supplied. Little water is brought into big containers for first needs. Heating becomes a real issue with the incoming winter. Kids and boys are sent in the around fields to gather any burning material, but they cannot get too far since the mine fields for to protect the no man’s land are right at border line with the camp. Refugees burn dry grass or just a little more than grass. At dusk, they must make return to their tents, because all around there is no light for to walk even. They rest at candle light in their tents until they fall asleep.
Recently a protest for to ask better conditions at the camp was held at the border (see other reportage “Syria - protest in the camp of Azaz”, © Michele Pero) for to interest the Turkish Governor of the area, with no result. These people must stay here. No place where to go, no place where to make return. Convicted to be forgotten. Up to how long, no one knows.



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