Jordan rooftop farm helps Gazans to reconnect with the land they lost

Islam Abu Saud checks the series of white plastic tubes running and twisting across the expanse of green canvas in what looks like a life-sized school science project.

She scans digital pH readers and engine pumps. Finally, the 22-year-old university graduate gazes with satisfaction at the end result of the past four weeks of labor: bright green heads of lettuce. Even better? This is not a farm or research center – this is her rooftop. 

“After waiting for opportunities to arrive,” Ms. Abu Saud says, “I am making opportunities grow at home.” In Jordan’s Jerash refugee camp, an experiment in hydroponic rooftop gardening is offering more than a badly needed source of income. It’s offering a reconnection to the land for a people who have been uprooted for half a century. 

In Jordan, a country whose population has one of the highest percentages of refugees in the world, residents in the “Gaza Camp” – Gazans who arrived here at the Jerash camp in 1968 and their descendants – have it perhaps the hardest.

As the Gaza Strip was not under Jordanian administration at the time of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Jordan did not grant citizenship to Gaza refugees like it did for Palestinians arriving from the West Bank. 

Read more at The Christian Science Monitor (Taylor Luck)

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