Migration Media Award: Third Place Print Category (English)
Author: Guckelsberger Florian
Media: Neue Zürcher Zeitung (German) and Open Democracy (English)
Date of publication: 3. June 2016
Title: Neuland (German) / Breaking New Ground in Jordan (English)
Short summary : I realised the feature „New Ground“ while spending half a year living in Amman in 2015. Back then I researched how Jordan deals with an almost unbelievably huge influx of war-torn Syrians. My assumption was that by analysing what Jordan has experienced for more than five years now, one might draw some lessons for Europe and its approach towards migrants. Today, I still believe that such learning from experience would provide helpful insights, as migrations and integration is and remains a challenge in many countries.
So, in order to realise my story I toured Jordan for several months, staying in a refugee camp, visiting hospitals and tech hubs, approached activists, citizens, local journalists, entrepreneurs, businessmen and innovators to learn about the situation. This research resulted in a long form multimedia documentary, featuring infographics, maps and videos, that is divided in four chapters: The Refugees, The Helpers, The Hosts and The Visionaries. The German version was published by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the English translation by Open Democracy, as I strongly felt that this topic was (and is) too important to be limited to a German audience only.
Earlier this year, Jordan made the world a proposal: government speaker Mohammed Momani promised it would help any country that pledged itself to take in several thousand refugees currently camped out in the wilderness between Syria and Jordan. Jordan had reached its limit of capacity.
Five years ago Syria’s uprising began and the ensuing war forced millions to flee to neighbouring Jordan, a land whose present holds some lessons for Europe’s future.