The Urban Impact: Housing

 Despite only a thin wall separating them, Jordanian and Syrian neighbors may never become personally close.

Despite only a thin wall separating them, Jordanian and Syrian neighbors may never become personally close.

 
 

The Authors’ experiences finding apartments in irbid

After a few days of searching for an apartment in the city of Irbid, I [Agyead] decided to rent a small studio in a student dormitory near Al-Naseem Street near University Circle. The apartment was good and reminded me of my university accommodation back home in Syria. After that, I felt stable here in Jordan, and I prepared myself to join Jerash university, which I had enrolled in before traveling to Jordan. Since my university was outside of the city, I would commute there on a daily basis. In June 2013, I moved to another house in Irbid close to Jamal Circle. I decided to move in with my friend from Syria. We knew each other from Syria, as we had both lived in the same town before the war broke out.

For me [Charles], finding an apartment was easy. A Jordanian friend with wasta [personal connections] found an affordable apartment near Yarmouk University. Like many of the apartments in the neighborhood, the building had previously catered entirely to university students, but in 2018, I found only one apartment on my floor occupied by Jordanian students. The rest of the apartments on my floor were rented by Syrian families, who would often have friends over at night, leaving their doors ajar so kids could run in and out. All were friendly, and they had amiable relationships with the building manager who I always saw acting respectfully to residents, Jordanians, and Syrians alike. The building was one property—I suspect of several—owned by a wealthy Jordanian. Maintenance workers were all Jordanian, mostly reefee rural folks who lived in small surrounding villages but came into the city for work.