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Iraqis in Jordan

Iraqis in Jordan (Running time: 26 minutes)

This podcast was recorded in Amman, Jordan in December 2007 with additional interviews recorded in February 2008. The Amman recordings include interviews with a number of Iraqis now living in Jordan from a range of backgrounds and current situations. The podcast includes comments from Rana Sweis UNHCR, Amman and Dana Graber Ladek International Organisation for Migration (IMO), Iraq.


Estimates as to the total number of Iraqis in Jordan vary according to the sources, although the generally accepted figure for those in Jordan is estimated to be somewhere between 450,000 – 750,000 (according to the FAFO study released in November 2007), from a total of over 2 million Iraqis who are currently living in neighbouring countries. The Iraqi population in Jordan is mixed and includes long-time residents of the Iraqi diaspora, persons who fled Iraq just after 2003, recent arrivals, recognised refugees, as well as persons who regularly travel back and forth between Iraq and Jordan for business purposes. As the statistics indicate, there is no one particular group which approaches UNHCR more than others, thus the profile of those seeking protection from UNHCR is also mixed between different religious denominations, between rich and poor, educated and un-educated. Due to the continued deteriorating situation in Iraq, Iraqis continue to try and enter Jordan on a daily basis.

Jordan is neither a signatory to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, nor to its 1967 Protocol. The Law on Residence and Foreign Affairs of 1973 is applicable to all foreigners in Jordan, regardless of their status or reasons for coming to Jordan. Jordan has, nevertheless, been very tolerant as regards the strict application of this law towards Iraqis whose residency permit or visa has expired, and has allowed large numbers of Iraqis to remain in the country illegally.
Extract from UNHCR Jordan Briefing Notes, December 2007

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creative commons logo (CC) BY-NC-ND This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Photograph of Amman, Jordan. December 2007. Photo: S L James.

Amman, the capital city of Jordan. There are estimated to be around 750,000 Iraqis now living in Jordan. December 2007.

Photo: S L James

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Last updated Sep 09, 2011