Amman’s Roman Theatre—seating 6,000— dates back to the 2nd-century Roman period when the Jordanian capital was known as Philadelphia. The structure is flanked by the nearby Odeon and the new Hashemite Plaza to the south and east, respectively, and a short stroll south-west away from the Roman Nymphaeum.
Members of Global Youth Priorities “GYP” were left impressed by this monument and the people they encountered there, and they conducted some interviews with citizens and visitors spanning various nationalities. Seeking to learn more about the socioeconomic dynamics in Amman, they asked several insightful questions to strangers in the street. They were especially keen to learn about the effect of the refugee crisis on Jordanian society:
“Before the political events that tried to separate us, we were a single country” recounts Mohammed, with his hand on his heart. “Our similarities lie in the value we place on humanity— a feature that we all share. Me and him, you, you and you too…”
“Are there more Arab or European tourists in Amman?” asked a member of the GYP team.
“Arabs are not tourists” he replied, adding “It is their own country. Europeans are welcome, as they are polite and welcoming at home. My children are residents in Germany, I have been their many times.”
In Jordan, refugees make up 25% of the population— in Europe, meanwhile, few manage to obtain refugee status, depending countries’ individual asylum and immigration policies.
Sami, politely apologising for his lacking knowledge of English, said:
“For me it is a disgrace, and I wish that Europe would apologise… and that instead of being helped by us, we could seek help from them… we are one body, and when a part of the body gets sick, all the members suffer. A member leaving is like an amputation. We regret not being able to take care of our neighbours in Syria, and we are very grateful to those who offer them hospitality. The boundaries between us should not exist— human beings are all of the same culture.”