Cinema Reopening at Za’atari Refugee Camp

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A partnership between UNICEF, the French Embassy, the French Institute in Jordan, and the Royal Film Commission


Amman, 11 July 2024 – UNICEF and the French Embassy in partnership with the French Institute in Jordan and the Royal Film Commission of Jordan announced the reopening of the cinema at Al-Za’atari Refugee Camp on Wednesday, 10 July 2024. The event, organized in partnership with the Amman International Film Festival – Awal Film, featured the screening of Jordan's first feature-length animation film "Saleem”.


Mr. Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Representative to Jordan, remarked, "Today marks a special occasion as we reopen the cinema in Al-Za’atari refugee camp. In a place where recreational and cultural activities for children are scarce, the importance of bringing back the power of cinema to support their education, awareness and entertainment cannot be overstated.”

“Today we reopen not only the doors of a building, but to a world of imagination, learning and laughter for children. This was made possible through a partnership established with the French Embassy, the French Institute in Jordan, and the Royal Film Commission, whom we are grateful to for their support,” he concluded.


Originally opened in October 2019 as a partnership between UNICEF and the French association “Lumière à Zaatari”, the 114-seat cinema was closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Four years later and thanks to a funding from the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the refurbishment work has been completed and the cinema is now ready to host film screenings, as well as cultural and educational activities for children and their families.


H.E.  Alexis Le Cour Grandmaison, French Ambassador to Jordan declared, “For 13 years, France remains committed to supporting Syrians and host countries of refugees. This support focuses primarily on the humanitarian field, but also encompasses culture.”

He added, “We are delighted that funding from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs can bring this incredible place back to life. For the coming year, the Institut français de Jordanie will offer a rich and varied programme of cinematic, cultural and educational events at Al-Zaatari cinema”.

Mr. Mohannad Al-Bakri, Managing Director of the Royal Film Commission, stated “We are pleased to be partners in reopening the Za’atari Cinema Project, as it is consistent with our approach at the Royal Film Commission, which is to provide a cinematic platform for everyone, specifically groups that do not have a cultural outlet of this kind, as is the case in the Zaatari refugee camp.”


“We hope that the results of this project will give an opportunity for the audience, especially children, to learn about concepts related to cinema and narrative. We also hope that the training programmes in the project will be a platform to showcase talents from within Za’atari camp that will result in cinematic stories that the world will see in the future,” he added.

The movie "Saleem" was introduced by director Cynthia Madanat Sharaiha and producer Shadi Sharaiha on this occasion and was received with great enthusiasm by the children, demonstrating the cinema's impact on their lives.




UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.


For more information, please contact:

Mohamed Aboelnaga [email protected]

Dima Salameh, [email protected] +962 79 984 1703

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit 


Institut Français de Jordanie

Since 1963, the Institut français de Jordanie provides various French language and Arabic language courses and international certified exams in-person or online. It supports Jordanian cultural initiatives, and encourages cross-cultural exchanges between France and Jordan.

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Contact : [email protected]



The Royal Film Commission - Jordan (RFC)

The Royal Film Commission - Jordan (RFC) was established to support the film industry in Jordan and promote Jordan as a regional filming hub. It provides comprehensive services including location scouting, logistical support, and facilitation of permits. The RFC plays a pivotal role in fostering a film-friendly environment, ensuring that filmmakers have the resources needed to bring their creative visions to life.

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