NPR

Community And Vegetables Grow Side-By-Side In Syrian Refugee Camp Gardens

Some Syrians have found that the difficult work of growing fruits and vegetables in refugee camps brings a sense of home, peace, and of course, adds fresh food to the community.
Syrian gardeners at the Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraq share the harvest. Source: Kastro Yosef/The Lemon Tree Trust

Fig and pomegranate trees, grapes, carrots, and narcissus flowers are some of the plants that Aveen Ismail like to grow in the Domiz refugee camp in Northern Iraq where they live. That's because these plants remind her of Syria and home.

At first, Ismail did not find the dry land welcoming. But she values greenery and gardening, so she cultivated a small patch of land next to the house her family built in the camp.

In 2015, after seeing her garden, members of a U.K.-based nonprofit called asked Ismail to help them encourage others to garden in the camp.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min readPolitics
What We Know About The Attack On Saudi Oil Facilities
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia claim Iran is behind the attack. Iran denies involvement. Here's what the physical evidence shows.
NPR6 min read
Constructing Jazz Inside Fine Art, And Vice-Versa
The jazz pianist has pulled the curtain off his polymathic abilities, bringing his fine art exhibition — which includes video, installations and performance — home to New York.
NPR2 min read
False Tsunami Warning In Hawaii Triggered By Police Exercise
The alert, which was "inadvertently triggered" during Honolulu Police Department training, angered residents who recalled a similar false alarm last year warning of an imminent missile attack.