Syrians and Business in Irbid City: Jordanian Stability and Refugees: A Qualitative Study

  •  Khaled Alafi    


Aim: Against Jordan’s historical and economic background, the question of the effects on business of Syrianrefugees’ fleeing the civil war and their demand for accommodation and business purchase in Irbid, a northerncity, is investigated. The hope was to link these local social and economic problems and their effects tonationwide demands, more prevalent in the south, for socio-economic improvement for business opportunityand increased political freedom.

Methodology: Qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with 33 of 41 Irbid realtors.

Results: Local dislocation affected the lower socio-economic group on limited incomes, depriving them ofaccommodation. Predominantly the rich Jordanian elite profited by increased investment and rental profit.Refugee Syrians comprised only 10% of the market. Some astute Syrian businessmen invested their wealth inIrbid, improving the general economy. Irbid commercial and retail business boomed with increased consumers.There was insufficient discontent evidenced with the political or economic situation to threaten the politicalstatus quo, according to realtors. The King is loved, and trusted to encourage more foreign investment. Realtorsexpected the real estate market to rise slightly with new demand, or stabilise; although locally limited-incomeJordanians hope for assistance in the form of a government sector wage rise—unlikely with national economicwoes.


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