Syrian refugees find opportunity in Jordan

By December 9, 2022

Jordan (MNN) — While the Syrian refugee crisis has been on the metaphorical “back burner” for several years, it hasn’t gone away.

A mother washes her child in a makeshift settlement in Idlib, Syria.
(Photo courtesy of Ahmed Akacha/Pexels)

Hostility towards refugees grows in host countries like Lebanon as economic conditions deteriorate. Mass cholera outbreaks in refugee camps apply even more pressure.

“It’s a different case in Jordan for a few reasons,” MENA Leadership Center’s Fadi Sharaiha says.

“One, Jordanians are used to refugees. The second thing is that in Lebanon, they have them in refugee camps, while in Jordan, you can be in a refugee camp or integrate into the culture and the community.”

Last year, Jordan gave the highest amount of work permits to Syrian refugees since 2016. Worsening conditions in Syria provide little incentive for refugees to return voluntarily.

Instead of forcing Syrian refugees back into Syria, Jordan makes the process optional. “That’s why you have only a few thousand going back,” Sharaiha says.

“I don’t think most of them (Syrian refugees) are planning to go back. I’ve seen them putting down roots in Jordan.”

Opportunities to succeed exist in Jordan, but it’s not always easy for refugees to find them. That’s where MENA Leadership Center comes in.

MLC helps local churches connect with refugees and support them in their journey. Believers introduce the hope of Christ along the way.

You can help by sponsoring the training for a local church leader.

This ministry is not limited to Syrian refugees. “Around 30 percent of the people who live in Jordan are refugees. They’re coming from Syrian origin, Iraqis, some Yemenis, and some Sudanese, and they have now become a part of the economy,” Sharaiha says.

“It’s funny, but I sometimes miss the Jordanian accent whenever I go to Jordan. What you hear is a Syrian, Iraqi, and Lebanese accent, but you rarely hear the Jordanian accent.”



Header image is a stock photo courtesy of Yazan obeidat/Unsplash.

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