We flew a kite today above a massive unopened refugee camp in the middle of nowhere, closer to the Saudi border than Amman, Jordan’s capitol.
A GoPro camera was tethered to the kite, making a photograph every five seconds. Our goal was to give some scale and geographic context to the Azraq camp now under construction about 30 miles from Jordan’s border with Saudi Arabia. Azraq, if opened, could hold up to 130,000 refugees.
We did not see the town of Azraq today but we are told it’s an oasis, the only source of fresh water in approximately 12,000 square miles. We were also told that there is a castle there and a wildlife refuge. All this is hard to imagine because the surroundings to the camp—about 15 miles from the town-- are barren.
We hope to get the kite airborne on Friday when we return to the Zaatari camp. The landscape at Zaatari—not to mention the people-- are worn out. We think the aerial view could go a long way in helping folks understand a tiny bit about life as a refugee.
Our kite is about two-feet wide, bright yellow with green, red and orange stripes. We bought it at Treasure Island toy shop on Mecca Street in downtown Amman. It’s imported from The Netherlands but not a big seller here, since locals usually make their own. The kite’s packaging includes advice in 10 languages on how to avoid electric lines with the toy.
Our little kite did get the camera into the sky. We suffered a minor set back when kite and camera crashed into the lava rock that blankets the desert floor around Azraq. The crash cracked the GoPro case, but it won’t keep us from trying again.