“Dreaming of Home: Syrian Refugees in Jordan’s Cities – Will They Be Repatriated?” by Matthew R. Stevens
Posted by Joshua on Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Dreaming of Home : Syrian Refugees in Jordan’s Cities – Will They Be Repatriated?
by Matthew R. Stevens – @Matt_R_Stevens
for Syria Comment, Sept 16, 2014
“What do I think will happen?” He sighs. “I think that it is over. I think Bashar will win.”
I am cross-legged in the sitting room of a Syrian family, hot tea half-forgotten in my hand. I give the man a long, searching stare. He nods in confirmation. Asad will win. Asad already has won.
This point of view has become familiar through the first three months of research on post-conflict Syrian social structures in Irbid. The second largest city in Jordan, Irbid rests about 20km from the Dar’a border crossing. Irbid Governate held a population of approximately one million before the conflict began in Syria; now, it is home to an additional 160,000 Syrians.
Opportunistic sampling of Syrians living in Irbid has revealed greater diversity in political leanings than initially expected. Few report being staunch supporters of either Asad or the FSA. Irrespective of previous political hopes for Syria, many seem to be playing a pragmatic game of reconciliation—re-obscuring political affiliations in a preparation for rehabilitation with the regime.