Posts Tagged ‘Jordan’

The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Saving the Lost Generation and the Communities that Serve Them

October 23, 2015

Edward M. Gabriel (Ambassador to Morocco, 1997-2001)

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The Syrian refugee crisis is nearing a tipping point, beyond which no near-term solutions are possible. On this website, many of us have discussed policy options to stem the Syrian crisis and get to the negotiating table. In the meantime, we have a crisis that can’t wait for diplomacy or military action: the lost generation of uneducated young refugees, and the host communities struggling to bear their weight.

More than four million Syrians have fled the country, mostly to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Though in absolute numbers Turkey hosts the largest community, about 30% of Lebanon’s population and 20% of Jordan’s population are now Syrian nationals. To the 4 million refugees, add the 6.5 million Syrians internally displaced and you end up with about half of Syria’s population as either displaced or refugees. One-third – and as much as half – of the housing stock and a large percentage of economic infrastructure have been destroyed or damaged in Syria, and mistrust of the current Syrian security forces abounds. Without homes and jobs and fearful of the government, refugees will not return any time soon and host countries will have to cope with refugees for years to come.

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A Field Guide to Jordan’s Struggle Against ISIS

February 6, 2015

Marc Ginsberg (Ambassador to Morocco, 1994-1998)

Cross-posted from Ambassador Ginsberg’s February 5, 2015 special to the Huffington Post.

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There are few nations in the Middle East, perhaps aside from Morocco (a bit of prejudice here), that is as blessed with such decent people and respected leadership as Jordan. It is a vulnerable, but stable desert kingdom constantly defying the forces arrayed against it. Jordan’s boundless generosity has provided a safe haven for the human tide of refugees that have been thrust upon it from war ravaged Syria and Iraq. A nation poor in natural resources – Jordan nevertheless is an oasis of dependability in a Levantine desert seeming devoid of anything but.

King Hussein of Jordan – one of the truly great leaders of the modern Arab world and father of the current monarch, King Abdullah, described his nation this way:

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The Morning After a Syrian Strike — What’s Next?

August 29, 2013

Marc C. Ginsberg (Ambassador to Morocco, 1994-1998)

Cross-posted from Ambassador Ginsberg’s August 29, 2013 special to The Huffington Post.

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Damascus is eerily calm tonight while Damascenes nervously hunker down for what Washington is billing as a short duration Mediterranean-based cruise missile assault on Syrian military installations. The limited objective: “punish” Syria for deploying chemical weapons “on a large scale” (Obama’s words) against innocent men, women and children, and deter Assad from doing it again.

Washington has done just about everything but take out ads in Syrian newspapers: The target is not Assad, nor is the attack directed at shifting any balance of power toward the “secular” Syrian opposition.

Although the war drums are beating, the exact timing of the attack, should it come, remains a mystery.

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