Wedding Boutiques in Jordan's Largest Refugee Camp Cover All The Bride's Needs

Wedding Boutiques in Jordan's Largest Refugee Camp Cover All The Bride's Needs
Sun 09-02-2014

Hundreds of weddings have taken place in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan since it opened in 2012 and is home to 127,000 people who fled the conflict in Syria.

CNN correspondent Atika Shubert said she was overwhelmed by the sheer number of desperate people flocking from the Syria-Jordan border to Zaatari.

She interviewed Rowaida Abu-Zaid,  a mother of two and owner of Alma's Salon for Women which is one of three wedding dress shops set up inside the camp.

The hairdresser borrowed some money and bought a variety of colorful dresses which now hang proudly on the wall of her shop inside the camp which is open every day from dawn to dusk.

"I expected it to be more grim once I got inside the camp," Atika admitted when discussing her visit to the area earlier this month to make a documentary for CNN.

Atika Shubert was particularly surprised by the camp's main street, known as the 'Champs Elysees', which features 3,000 shops, restaurants and food vendors.
And of course, three wedding dress outlets.

Atika Shubert has a facial at Rowaida's salon. It is profitable as at least ten weddings take place every week in the camp, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Rowaida fled the fighting with her husband and children and has lived in the camp, which is about 8 miles from the Syrian border, for a year and a half.

She was a hairdresser in Syria and her sister was a make-up artist, but she only came up with the idea of opening her own business when one of her clients suggested she rent out wedding dresses. 

"The sad reality is that families are getting their daughters married younger and younger for several reasons, it can be to another refugee with better prospects."

Rowaida explains: "The problem is even though they are young their parents get them married because they are afraid about their future."

Source: Daily Mail