Za'atari refugee camp, Jordan. (september 2013).

Ten years ago, a group of 450 Syrians fleeing the fighting in their country emerged from the desert under cover of darkness and crossed the border into neighbouring Jordan. Later that day, they became the first inhabitants of the newly opened Za’atari refugee camp.

Within a year, the camp’s population had soared to 120,000 people. The tents that provided a temporary roof in the initial weeks and months were replaced by thousands of metal shelters. Roads, schools and hospitals were built to meet the needs of residents, and shops and small businesses sprang up, run by enterprising refugees.

A decade since the camp first opened its gates, the population has stabilized at around 80,000 people. It remains the largest refugee camp in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world, and a symbol of the long-running Syrian refugee crisis.