New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

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

Syrian gardeners at the Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraq share the harvest.
Kastro Yosef/The Lemon Tree Trust

Perkins and her colleagues emphasize the immediate rewards of camp greening with residents — farming skills, keeping memories of home alive, building community, and accessing fruits and vegetables they would not otherwise have.

By Julia Travers
Feb 22, 2018
(Must see. Mike)


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 The Lemon Tree Trust asked Ismail to help them encourage others to garden in the camp. Now she has a formal role with the group.

“I hope to give a beautiful view for my neighbors and support for others, to encourage agriculture, and provide myself with a few fresh vegetables every day,” Ismail says.

Ismail, her husband, and three children fled the Syrian Civil War in 2011. They left their home in Damascus after several family members were killed in their neighborhood. More than 11 million Syrians have been displaced and more than 250,000 have died in the ongoing war. Ismail’s family is among about 26,500 refugees in the Domiz camp, which covers approximately 710 square miles.

Read the complete article here.