Thursday, December 14, 2017

Blog Series on Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan (Day 1)

A group of Rutgers Law School students have the unique opportunity to visit Jordan as part of a seminar on the Syrian Refugee Crisis and International Human Rights.  Under the supervision of Professor Sahar Aziz and Professor Jeena Shah, the students are meeting with various stakeholders in government and nongovernmental organizations to understand the complex political, economic, and social factors that affect both the refugees and receiving countries. 

By going on the ground and hearing from persons with direct knowledge of the Syrian refugee crisis, the students can compare the media and political rhetoric in Western media with the facts on the ground.  As future lawyers, the students will apply their critical thinking, research, and interpersonal skills to assess a complex set of facts within the broader framework of international human rights.

As a means of informing others with an interest in the Syrian refugee crisis, the students are blogging about their experiences in Jordan. As such, the Race and the Law Profs blog will be posting a daily blog from a student for the next two weeks.  Here is the first post.  Stay tuned for their daily reflections.



December 13, 2017

We made it to Jordan! After nearly 20 hours of traveling, we are finally in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan known for its hospitable people, ancient civilizations, and central location in the Middle East.

While on the connecting flight from Paris to Amman, I sat beside a kind older woman, ethnically of Serbian descent, who was traveling back to her home in Amman after visiting her daughter in the United States. We spent the entire five-hour flight discussing topics including the Jordanian perspective on the Syrian refugee crisis and potential solutions, the effects of the numerous wars in the Middle East, her family history, and even the best places to eat in Jordan. She also shared with me that her son works for a humanitarian organization, focusing on documenting the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan. Because Jordan has nearly 1 million Syrian refugees and displaced Syrians, it offers a unique opportunity to understand the challenges faced by recipient countries.  We look forward to learning more about the complexity of the Syrian refugee issue, and its impact on Middle East countries.

Day 1 Blog Picture2After finally arriving at the airport in Jordan, we couldn’t go to sleep without getting a first taste of the highly praised food in Jordan. The hotel staff members recommended a restaurant that serves grilled meats and appetizers. The meal was delicious, and the staff were hospitable.  As we savored the authentic Middle Eastern cuisine, we planned the following day’s schedule and decided to go visit the famous Petra and Wadi Rum.

Our day finally ended at about 12:30 AM. We have a lot of recovery to do for our big day tomorrow that will begin at 7:00 AM.

-- Tamara Anaie, Rutgers Law School, Class of 2019

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