Zaatari desert is located in the northern region of Jordan. Temperatures hover above 45 degrees Celsius and desert storms appear frequently. Recently, Zaatari desert has received an immense influx of people.
Syrian refugees have settled down in refugee camps in the middle of the barren Zaatari desert. They have fled to Jordan to escape the civil war in their country that has raged on for three years.
Over 100,000 Syrians have been killed since the civil war erupted three years ago and that is equivalent to 10% of the total Syrian population. About 1.8 million Syrians have fled the country and 700,000 of them have settled in Jordan. 60% of the Syrian refugees in Jordan are children and among them, one-third are orphans.
Tears of Zaatari is a documentary special produced to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War and it traces the hardships that children refugees face while living in Jordan’s Zaatari desert. There is also footage of Koreans who are in the region and trying to aid the Syrians living in a harsh desert. And a Syrian student called Abdul Wahab is also introduced. He is an oversea student in South Korea who feels helpless and frustrated over his inability to help his country spiral out of control. But he decides to do what he can to bring hope to his people.
There is no end in sight for Syria’s civil war. Documenting the dismal plight of Syrians and orphans who have ended up in a desert wasteland in Jordan after fleeing their war-torn country in desperation. Their suffering mirrors the upheaval experienced by the generation of Koreans who lived through the Korean War 60 years ago. Mindful of Korea’s past, the show portrays the realities of Zaatari refugee camp with compassion.