Zaatari (Arabic: مخيم الزعتري) is a refugee camp in Jordan, located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Mafraq, which is gradually evolving into a permanent settlement. It was first opened on 28 July 2012 to host Syrians fleeing the violence in the ongoing Syrian Civil War that erupted in March 2011. On 26 March 2015, the camp population was estimated at 83,000 refugees.
It is connected to the road network by a short road which leads to the highway 10.
The camp features market-like structures along the main street where goods like vegetables, basic household equipment and clothes can be purchased. There are also coffee shops where shisha can be smoked.
The main concern has related to the lack of sufficient food supplies and better accommodation. The camp has seen an increasing number of reports of crime, including prostitution and drug-dealing. Furthermore, demonstrations are used as a forum to create awareness of the conflict and to express political views against the current government led by Bashar al-Assad and the violence inflicted by the Syrian Armed Forces. Further the protesters declared support for the Free Syrian Army.
Due to the maximum capacity of 60,000 refugees in March 2013 a second camp was built 20 kilometres east of Zarqa in the Marjeeb Al Fahood plains. On 5 April 2014 a riot resulted in a number of injuries to both refugees and Jordanian police. One refugee was killed by gunshot.
In 2015, filmmakers Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple lived in Zaatari for a month, resulting in the documentary Salam Neighbor.