Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 May 2022
Chapter 3 narrates the three entrepreneurs’ early challenges adjusting to Za'atari. The camp is barren and devoid of activity in its first months of existence. White tents house residents, early mornings see long lines for meager bread rations, and residents protest about the severe shortage of resources. All three entrepreneurs struggle mightily. Yasmina is thankful that her newborn son Ashraf is healthy despite his premature birth, but she worries the environment surrounding him will stifle his growth. So she continues to hold out on working, praying she will return home to a peaceful Syria any day now. Falling into depression due to the lack of activity and resources, Asma runs away with her family to try to settle in nearby towns. A dearth of opportunity forces her to return to Za'atari, where she faces the tragic death of her son Ashraf. She fears the worst for Tamara and Maya, believing all hope for their education has died. Without any schooling options and separated from her friends, Malak sits alone in a small corner within her family’s tent and paints, releasing her emotions through her art from morning until night.