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Life inside Syrian refugee camps
Three years into a bloody civil war, the displaced are still searching for a slice of normalcy
 

Three years ago this week, Syria began to be torn apart.

Syrians took to the streets, demanding democratic and economic reforms from the government of Bashar al-Assad. What they got instead was a civil war that has turned cities to dust, killed more than 100,000 people, and forced millions more to flee.

Jan. 9, 2013: A man stands on top of a water tank as clouds roll over the Al Zataari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan. | (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

For those who managed to escape — women and children, mainly, with whatever they could carry — some semblance of life continues in refugee camps throughout the region. Through grit, luck, or the help of others — and often a combination of all three — those displaced millions have sought to create moments of normalcy in the temporary rooms, mud-floored tents, and makeshift shelters they call home, waiting for the day their country stitches itself back together.

Here, a look at life for the millions of refugee-camp residents:


Aug. 12, 2012: Boys carry water for their family at Al Zataari, Mafraq. | (REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)



Sept. 2, 2013: A woman bathes her child at Domiz refugee camp in Dohuk, Iraq. | (REUTERS/ Haider Ala)



Feb. 15, 2014: A girl washes her family's clothes at Bab Al-Hawa refugee camp near the Syria-Turkey border. | (REUTERS/Mouaz Al Omar)



Aug. 21, 2013: Women wait in line for food at Kawergosk refugee camp in Irbil, Iraq. | (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)



Dec. 11, 2012: A woman cooks food for her family outside their tent at Atmeh refugee camp in Atmeh, Syria. | (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)



Dec. 23, 2013: Children attend classes at an unofficial camp near Amman, Jordan. A teacher-turned-refugee set up the makeshift school because the Jordanian schools are too far away. | (REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)



March 2, 2014: A girl gets a snuggle and a smooch from a puppy at Kilis refugee camp in Kilis, Turkey. | (REUTERS/Nour Kelze)



Nov. 21, 2013: Children play on a makeshift swing at Harmanli refugee camp in Harmanli, Bulgaria. | (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)



Sept. 17, 2013: Children participate in taekwondo training at Zaatari refugee camp near Mafraq, Jordan. | (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)



March 25, 2013: Friends cut a young man's hair at Bab Al-Salam camp near the Syria-Turkey border. | (REUTERS/Giath Taha)



Oct. 28, 2013: A family eats a meal inside their makeshift room in a mosque, which is being used as an unofficial refugee camp, in Shebaa, Lebanon. | (REUTERS/Jamal Saidi)



Sept. 2, 2013: A woman applies makeup to a soon-to-be bride at a makeshift beauty parlor in the Domiz refugee camp in Dohuk, Iraq. | (REUTERS/ Haider Ala)



May 6, 2013: An obstetrician holds a baby after delivery at a field hospital in Zaatari refugee camp near the Syrian border in Mafraq, Jordan. | (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

 
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