Refugee, Jordanian, and Other Migrant

experiences with integration

 “University Circle,” was once mostly Jordanian college students, but is now home to thousands of Syrian family residences and workplaces.

“University Circle,” was once mostly Jordanian college students, but is now home to thousands of Syrian family residences and workplaces.

 
 

Reflections on why the author had few experiences with discrimination

Throughout my [Agyead’s] stay in Jordan I have developed relationships with a diverse group of people, including Syrians, Jordanians, Palestinians, and Western migrants. In Irbid, most of my relations were with Syrians. In university, however, I formed a group of close relations with some of my Jordanian colleagues. Indeed, all my colleagues and professors at the university had a positive attitude to me and my background, except for a professor of Palestinian origin. Most of these relationships continued after graduating from university, and I am still in contact with some friends from that period. One of these Jordanian friends eventually became my housing partner in Amman and we maintained a very close relationship until he decided to travel outside Jordan and we fell out of frequent contact. During the last year of my stay in Amman, I also became friends with Western migrants. These relationships mainly developed in work settings. Since my arrival to Jordan, my contact with my family in Syria has been continuous through daily interactions on social media, and I have remained close to my family in Jordan with frequent visits and calls.

I think I felt like I was accepted as a local because I was a university student, where faculty and staff were welcoming, and did not participate in the labor market, so I did not face the common workplace discrimination other Syrians encounter. Moreover, when I began to work, I was mostly working with Syrian media organizations and INGOs. As such, I only really began to face hate speech and racism during the last year of my stay in Amman, when I had lost my previous jobs and started looking for work in Jordanian institutions. At this point, I got more direct experience with the exploitation of Syrians.