MAFRAQ, Jordan — When her 12-year-old daughter Uala started bleeding, Siam thought it was her period. But after 45 days, it was clear something was wrong with her. It was August 2017, and Siam and her daughter were working in a greenhouse in one of the hundreds of farms in the Mafraq area of northern Jordan. In summer, temperatures reach 35 or 40 degrees Celsius (95 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit), usually 10 more inside the greenhouse.
Siam is from Aleppo. Five years ago she had no choice but to join her husband, who had already been working in Mafraq since 2005. Over the past few years, Syrian women picking tomatoes or cucumbers have become a common sight in the fields of Badia Shmali, as this area is called.
Daniela Sala is an Italian, Rome-based, journalist, video-maker and photographer. Her works appeared on The Guardian, News Deeply, Open Migration, RaiNews24, Corriere della Sera, Avvenire.
This article was published with support from the Fairway Fellowship, an initiative of the Ethical Journalism Network and International Labour Organization to support quality reporting on labour migration in the Middle East.