Jordan skate park puts smile on faces of refugee children - City News HD

Jordan skate park puts smile on faces of refugee children

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(AFP) – Hair flying in the wind Manar, Amniya and Farida hurtle down the slopes of “7Hills Skate Park” in the Jordanian capital Amman where refugee children come to play.

The 650-square-metre (almost 7,000-foot) concrete space was built in December 2014 by skateboard enthusiasts from around the world.

The money was raised during a fundraising campaign by a German NGO and a local association that offers free classes for the children of refugees from countries such as Syria, Iraq or Sudan.

Mohammed Duma, a 40-year-old Sudanese man who fled the war in Darfur, looks on with pride and a touch of apprehension as his two daughters, aged four and eight, learn to ride a skateboard with their trainer.

“We come here every Monday. Life in Jordan is very expensive, it’s the only place where I can take my girls to play and have fun for free,” said Duma.

He has applied with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for relocation to the United States, Canada or Britain.

Salima Issa, a 26-year-old housewife, sits on a patch of grass with her two-year-old son, who is busy nibbling on crackers.

She watches as her son Mohammed, four, and eight-year-old daughter Amniya cruise by on their skateboards.

Issa too fled Darfur, where the conflict that broke out in 2003 has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions of others.

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