Thursday, November 21, 2013

Syrian refugees: marketed for a reality TV show

From an anonymous source:  "I thought you may be interested to know that you can now experience life in Za'atari in the comfort of your own home. It appears that Yahoo UK and UNHCR have teamed up to create a series depicting life in the camp. Check out the link here:

Also, I have been informed that an Italian NGO is doing some sort of reality series in Za'atari where contestants can live the life of an aid worker in the camp, however I haven't yet been able to independently verify this. Once I do, I will let you know.

FYI - I have quite a few contacts in the camp (staff (local and int'l), residents and others) as I did spend 6 months working there as a....  (until the end of July). It was through one of these contacts that I heard about the reality show and she is to send me information to confirm it. I will forward to you upon receiving

***if you do share, i prefer to remain anonymous.

Just an update on the Italian reality show I mentioned that was filmed in Za'atari.

I just met a woman here in Jordan working with the Italian NGO, Intersos. I inquired about the reality series and she confirmed that it was Intersos who was working on this and it was already filmed. It is due to air on Rai1 (uno), Italy's most important television network (according to her). The show is called "The Mission" and places a famous Italian pop (?) singer, Al Bano, in Za'atari camp where he will live the life of an aid worker. I also found out that this is some sort of series as episodes were already filmed in the Congo and South Sudan.
The filming of the series was apparently heavily criticised by Intersos staff here in Jordan (as I hoped it would).

All information on the series online appears to only be written in Italian, and the only information I could find in English are some blog posts. You can check this one out for some more details:

Just another way to exploit the most vulnerable, supported by UNHCR no less."