Shadow Aid to Syrian Refugees

by Elizabeth Dickinson
published in MER272

A carpenter all his life, ‘Ala’ never imagined himself wanting for something like a chair or a bed. But today his blue plastic seat is a luxury. After fleeing war in Syria, ‘Ala’ and his family were homeless in Jordan for roughly 18 months. But since January, the father of three has lived with a dozen other refugee families in a furnished apartment building on the outskirts of Amman.

Bread Is Life

The Intersection of Welfare Politics and Emergency Aid in Jordan

by Jose Ciro Martinez
published in MER272

‘Abd al-Qadir is tall, handsome and unassumingly stylish. With his well-cropped beard, Bob Marley T-shirt and Nike kicks, the young man would not look out of place on the gentrified streets of Brooklyn, the art scene of Belleville or the bustling beaches of his dream destination, Rio de Janeiro. Instead, he lingers in Amman, confronting dark news from home with a disarming smile.

The Arab Bank and Washington’s Protectorate in the Levant

by Pete Moore | published September 25, 2014 - 2:43pm

One stated justification for US strikes in Syria and Iraq is to protect the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Squaring the Palestinian Circle

An Interview with Rashid Khalidi

by Nubar Hovsepian , Joe Stork
published in MER131

Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian scholar and close observer of PLO affairs, is presently a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC. He recently completed a book on the PLO experience in Lebanon. Nubar Hovsepian and Joe Stork spoke with him in late January 1985.

How would you describe the balance of forces within the Palestinian movement today?

The PLO and the Jordan Option

by Naseer Aruri
published in MER131

The PLO stands at a crossroads. The battle of Beirut revealed the valiant and tenacious character of Palestinian nationalism and the corresponding paralysis of the Arab state system, but the forced withdrawal of the PLO from Lebanon presented the organization with the most serious challenge to its cohesion and vitality in its 20 years of existence.

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"The Nuclear Project Is Bound to Fail"

by Jillian Schwedler
published in MER271

Bassel Burgan is a Jordanian businessman and a leader of the movement to stop the Jordanian government’s plans to generate nuclear power. Jillian Schwedler, an editor of this magazine, conducted this interview with Burgan by e-mail on June 24, 2014.

 

What, in your view, are the important factors motivating the push for nuclear power in Jordan?

The Battle Over Nuclear Jordan

by Nicholas Seeley
published in MER271

Jordan is facing a power crisis. Resource-poor, the small desert kingdom imports 96.6 percent of its energy, according to government statistics, at a cost equivalent to 20 percent of gross domestic product in 2011 and 2012. More than a quarter of that fuel goes to generating electricity. Future demand is expected to grow rapidly, as Jordan is still in the hump of its demographic transition -- in 2012, 37 percent of the population was under the age of 15. Population growth alone will sharpen the hunger for fuel, but so, too, will the need for new industries to provide jobs for the large youth population, and the aspiration to modern, middle-class lifestyles. In addition, Jordan is the constant recipient of refugees from the region’s crisis zones.

Still Between Iraq and a Hard Place

by Curtis Ryan | published July 14, 2014 - 2:42pm

The old joke about Jordan’s political geography -- that the country sits “between Iraq and a hard place” -- seems morbidly, and not at all amusingly, appropriate once again. Violent conflict is intensifying on three borders: Syria is aflame, in the third year of a horrific civil war; Iraq is racked with renewed internal strife; and now Israel is again bombarding Gaza, with Palestinian civilians suffering the bulk of the casualties and Hamas firing mostly useless rockets in response. Speculation has begun about a third intifada.

Refugee Need and Resilience in Zaatari

by Curtis Ryan | published June 22, 2014 - 8:00pm

Not surprisingly, a visit to the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees in northern Jordan is mainly a depressing experience. Yet there are elements of inspiration here as well.

A New Diplomatic Rift Between Jordan and Syria

by Curtis Ryan | published May 29, 2014 - 11:27am

On May 26, Syria’s ambassador to Jordan, Bahjat Sulayman, received a terse letter from the Jordanian government informing him that he had been declared persona non grata and had 24 hours to leave the country. The expulsion of the Syrian ambassador may have seemed sudden or startling, but it had been brewing for quite some time. What is more surprising, in fact, is that it didn’t happen sooner.