Tour - Jordan
Approximately 80 percent of Syrian refugees in Jordan live in urban areas in the north of Jordan, while the remaining 20 percent live in the Za’atari, Marjeeb al-Fahood, Cyber City and Al-Azraq camps. Northern Jordan has been dramatically altered by the Syrian civil war. Since the uprising began in March 2011 right across the border in the city of Deraa, Jordanians have experienced the conflict via the thousands that have crossed into their country through the towns of Jabir and Ramtha. Many residents of Northern Jordan feel as Syrian as they are Jordanian – they have lived and married together, crossing the border easily. When the conflict first began, many Syrians went to Jordan to stay with relatives – many didn’t consider themselves “refugees.” Yet as the war escalated, the situation became critical: Syrians without relatives in Jordan began to cross the border. Local NGOs such as Islamic Relief began to assist as Syrians opted to stay and work in Northern Jordan, housing refugees and assisting those whose savings were dwindling. Yet the Jordanian government didn’t officially recognize the growing refugee crisis until 2012, when increased fighting saw an average of 1000 people a day crossing the border. To cope, Za’atari refugee camp was set up in July 2012 in a windswept desert. Riots have broken out since the camp’s creation and extreme weather in January 2013 caused extreme flooding. Nevertheless, NGOs and aid agencies are trying to improve the camp’s condition as the conflict rages on.