The Social, Cultural and Economic Impacts of Syrian Refugees on the Governorate of Maan: An Analytical Field Study

Nasser Abu Zaytoun, Khalid Al Wazani, Mohammad Al Nasarat, Basem Al Suboo

Abstract


The study aims to inform the public of the impact of Syrian refugees on the social, cultural and economic aspects of Maan Governorate. Official statistics state the existence of 1,541 Syrian refugee families in Maan, amounting to 6,607 persons at the time of the study. The percentage accounts for 2% of total Syrian refugees in the country and 6% of Maan’s population. The refugees in question do not live in standalone camps or an independent community but in the local communities. This fact facilitates their social interaction with the local community, especially given the compatibility between the two populations in terms of religion and ethnicity. Consequently, many refugees started to integrate, though partially, in the local communities. Their integration has taken place thanks to labor relations and stronger ties in the community, such as intermarriages. However, it is apparent that the two populations still have some cultural differences. Such differences incurred an invisible cost manifested in the form of direct and indirect impacts on the governorate. The abrupt demographic growth is putting more pressure on the infrastructure and public facilities, particularly education, electricity, water and health care, and especially on the labor market. In light of this situation, the study searches to find the cultural, social, and economic impacts of Syrian refugees on the Maan Governorate. The study describes the demographic, social, cultural, and economic characteristics of Syrian refugees living in Maan. It will also define the nature of social capital between Syrians and Jordanians. Additionally, the study shows that Syrians have had a significant impact on the labor market in the Maan Governorate, and the following discussions will describe the positive and negative impacts. Finally, the study will address findings concerning the Jordanian mindset and conception of how refugees affect their home country. From the findings of this study on the Maan Governorate, using both quantitative and qualitative measures, decision makers and refugee assistance organizations will be able to better assist Syrians who are integrating into Jordanian communities. Additionally, the research serves to show where Jordanian communities can improve on societal infrastructure to better improve the livelihood for both Jordanians and Syrians because the Syrian crisis will have a prolonged effect.


Keywords


Syrian refugees; Ma’an; Jordan; Economic; Social and cultural impacts

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10019

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