UNHCR portraits - Christopher Herwig

Young refugee in Azraq studies the night sky.

Bodor, 16, came to Azraq refugee camp with her family two years ago after fleeing their home in Dara’a in southern Syria. She describes the shock she felt when she first saw the rows of white shelters in the arid Jordanian desert that would be her new home. They arrived in the middle of the sweltering summer, but with no electricity in the camp they couldn’t even chill their water to relieve them from heat. Things began to feel more normal once Bodor enrolled in school and made new friends, even though the lack of lighting in their shelter meant she had to sit outside under a solar street light to do her homework. But the lack of electricity became a revelation when Bodor gazed up at the night sky. “Back in Syria with all the light pollution I never even looked at the stars, but here it felt like I had found a whole new universe,” she says. “The light from the stars is like nothing else, there’s a magic in it.” Now, Bodor dreams of becoming an astronomer, and the family's shelter is filled with text books and star charts. In order to pursue her studies and fulfil her ambition, she doubts that she will return to her homeland. “Syria has become isolated from the rest of the world, like Mars, something different.” It is just a coincidence, she says with a smile, that her name – Bodor – in Arabic means “full moons”.