Story of Abdallah
I am 26 y/o & I have been living in Istanbul for 2.5 years. I work in logistics. At first I came here to study, but then I learnt Turkish & I got offered a job. I have 2 parents, 3 brothers & a sister. All my siblings work, and one studies. I came here initially as a translator, but found myself directing things. I speak three languages - English, Arabic & Turkish. I am also learning Spanish - I love learning languages.
The past was much better than these times we live in now. I left Jordan because I finished my studies – I studied Mechanical Engineering - & I could not find a job. I am also a dreamer. My father is 50, he grew up in Jordan but is from Palestine. When he was younger, Jordan was good. He still sees it in that light. It is hard for him to leave. I don’t think my family will leave, they will stay for the rest of their lives. My brothers worked in governmental jobs, so it is difficult them to leave. It is not easy for anyone. If my brothers had a choice, I think they would think about leaving Jordan as it’s getting worse. In general Jordan is a welcoming community, there is little racism because they know what Syria was like before the war. They were a very welcoming country.
People don’t forget where they are from, particularly Jordanian-Palestinians. Jordanian-Jordanian people don’t discriminate against the Palestinian conflict or people supporting the cause. There isn’t really racism against religions.
There is so much conflict & instability in countries like Iraq, Israel & Palestine, & Egypt. Things are very unclear. From what I see, things aren’t getting better. Even though we have protests. Like on 24th March, people said we must go out ^ protest. After lockdown people are still going out ^ not paying attention to Covid-19. They are more concerned about other issues than the pandemic. If we don’t die from corona, we will die from the bad situation we live in.
In Jordan, we have this social system. There are lots of families that are really big. In the past when Jordan has independence from the UK. Some of the big families, the father works in the government. So it means that generations of people end up working in the government.
We have a specific issue of long-term corruption. Everything in Jordan depends on legacy. If you are a minister, you will hire your own children & they will get elected into government. Normal people don’t have a chance of getting a good job. It’s not just parents, its contacts in general. Our corruption really depends on the generation. If you have contacts, you will have a good education, job & life. You have the authority to bring people to work for the government if you work there. Some people do not even turn up to their jobs for months. There is a rumour that they found 260 people working in nursing without correct qualifications to do the job.
In some aspects of life, like health, education & social security, it is getting worse. As the population increases, the problems are getting worse. The Syrian crisis & Covid-19 pandemic have amplified the problems. According to many countries in the EU, Jordan is ‘safe’ as we don’t have any wars or gangs. But, we do not feel secure about the future, particularly in healthcare. The government are not trying to solve our healthcare problem, they are not attempting to modify & improve the system, nor they are with our education system.
Jordan is a great country, we have great people living here. People are loving, hard workers & looking for any chance to help & work. But, people are becoming increasingly sadder about others taking their jobs & rights. It is only because they want to live.
Written by Gigi