They found love in a seemingly hopeless place
Samer* and his family fled violence in Syria and arrived at the Za’atari refugee
camp in 2013 when he was just 16. It took many years, but he found the loves of his life there – his wife Sama, and a passion for photography.
When he arrived, Samer was confused, angry and homesick. He had witnessed unimaginable horror during the war and found it hard to find solace in the camp. “I am angry at the world. They don’t care about me. About my future,”
he said back then.
The only place he enjoyed was the activity centre set up by Save the Children where he and his friends would lift weights and release the tension and trauma they felt.
“That gives us an outlet for our emotions and frustrations,”
said Samer. “The coach of the gym is my role model. He used to be the national bodybuilding champion in Syria. He participated in the Olympics and World Championships. He also lost everything because of the war. I want to be just as disciplined and strong as he is.”
Samer was a confused and broken 16-year-old child who found comfort lifting weights at the gym.
Photo: Chris de Bode / Save the Children
A new skill and a new love
Then in 2016, Samer attended a photography course Save the Children was running in the camp for youth. What he found there would change his life forever.