Preparations for Ramadan by Syrians tell a different story in a refugee camp in Jordan than in a marketplace in Syria's Damascus. Nathan Frandino reports.
On the dust-filled streets of the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, Syrian refugees are preparing for Ramadan. The Holy Month begins on Monday, prompting many here to go to the market so they can buy traditional sweets like dates for Iftar, the nightly breaking of the fast. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN REFUGEE LIVING IN ZAATARI, GHAZWAN QAISI, SAYING: "Thank God, we are stocking up on juices, on dates, to create a Ramadan atmosphere." The camp here is home to some 85,000 Syrians, many of whom say they will try to celebrate as best as they can, despite being away from home. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN REFUGEE LIVING IN ZAATARI, MOHAMMED AMMARI SAYING: "We need to recreate the Ramadan atmosphere, spending time with your family at home, going shopping with your wife and kids. Ramadan is about gathering people together, it's about love, it's the month of peace and blessings." Across the border, Syrians in the capital Damascus, are back in the markets -- but the feeling is not quite the same. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABU ANAS, SYRIAN CITIZEN, SAYING: "To sum up, psychologically, people are not happy. Secondly, the economic situation does not allow people to buy sweets and other things that they celebrate with. The atmosphere in general has become different from past Ramadans." Nevertheless they try to capture the spirit -- preparing to celebrate against the backdrop of war and a hard-hit economy.