Dossier: Jordan

Sign and logo of the Hakawati bookshop in Amman (photo: Claudia Mende)

The Hakawati bookshop for children and young people in Amman

Huge appetite for exciting stories

Since opening ten years ago, the Hakawati bookshop in Amman has become an institution in the Jordanian capital. Nowhere else in the city offers such a wealth of books for children and young people. Claudia Mende took a look around this fascinating shopMore

Children playing in the kindergarten for traumatised children in Manshia, Syria (photo: Laura Overmeyer)

Syrian refugee children

A lost generation in the making

In the Jordanian village of Manshia, a German NGO has set up a kindergarten for traumatised Syrian refugee children. Here, they can leave their horrible past behind and learn how to be children again. Laura Overmeyer visited the kindergartenMore

A demonstrator and opponent of the new government in Cairo prepares to throw a Molotov cocktail at security forces in Cairo (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Three years after the Arab uprisings

Tyranny has gone unpunished

The revolutions that swept across the Arab world in 2011 could have failed for any number of reasons. However, the fact that their consequences now threaten to drag entire nations into chaos and rehabilitate tyrannous rulers three years after they were unceremoniously ousted is almost worse than if there had been no uprisings in the first place. By Günther OrthMore

Syrian refugees in Jordan: Inam and her daughter Najah (photo: Claudia Mende)

Refugee Crisis in Jordan

At the Breaking Point

Jordan has accepted around 600,000 Syrian refugees to date, and more are on the way. Although Jordan is continuing to show a considerable willingness to help, the fact that there is no foreseeable end to the Syrian civil war has led to growing frustration among Jordanians due to rising rents and increasing competition on the labour market. By Claudia MendeMore

Young Syrian refugees transport mattresses through the Zaatari refugee camp, located close to the Jordanian city of Mafraq (Photo: KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian Refugees in Jordan

Bleak Prospects

Syrian refugees in Jordan live under dire conditions, Amnesty International reports. The situation is particularly difficult for young girls, according to Amnesty International's Mideast consultant Ruth Jüttner. An interview by Kersten KnippMore

A Syrian child in a refugee camp on the Syrian border (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Syrian Civil War Refugees

Stranded in Gaza

To date, 70,000 Palestinians have fled the civil war in Syria. Only Hamas in the Gaza Strip is welcoming them with open arms. Inge Günther reports from GazaMore

View onto the top part of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Oriental Christians in Germany

Providing a Diplomatic Bridge

A new central council of oriental Christians has been formed in Germany to raise public awareness of the problems Arab Christians are facing in conflict-ridden countries like Syria, Egypt and Iraq. Günther Birkenstock reportsMore

Ravaged by war: The Northern Syrian city of Homs (photo: Reuters)

Syria and the Middle East

The End of the Sykes Picot System?

Aside from the human suffering caused by Syria's ongoing war, we should be aware of the potentially dire regional consequences of Syria's disintegration: It would call the entire post-World War I Middle Eastern state system into question. By Volker PerthesMore

Refugee reception center in Marj, Lebanon (photo: Susanne Schmelter)

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Fighting for Survival

There are now more than half a million refugees from the Syrian civil war in Lebanon, seeking shelter with families, in rented apartments and on construction sites, in ruins and homemade tents, in communal accommodation and occasionally in transit camps. Susanne Schmelter reportsMore

Riots on Tahrir Square, Egypt (photo: dapd)

Essay by Nawaf Obaid

The Collapsing Arab State

The Arab Spring has toppled some regimes, though not others. But, more important, everywhere in the Arab world – and beyond – it has called into question the viability of the nation-state. An essay by Nawaf ObaidMore

A boy injured during shelling by Syrian government forces is treated at a hospital in Aleppo (photo: Getty Images)

Escaping the Civil War in Syria

Humanity amid the Horror

Mansour Al Rajab devoted six years of his life to establishing and building up a clinic in Syria. The war turned it into a field hospital, the grenades into a heap of rubble. Although the doctor was able to flee to the Czech Republic, his heart remained in Homs with the revolution. By Martin NejezchlebaMore

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Amman January 23, 2013 (photo: Reuters/Muhammad Hammad)

Jordan Has Voted

King Abdullah Can Catch His Breath

King Abdullah II emerged as ostensible winner of the parliamentary elections held in Jordan on 23 January. An absolute majority of royalist members in the next lower house of Parliament and a lack of pressure for reform from outside have given the challenged monarch a chance to catch his breath. But the discontent spreading through many parts of Jordanian society could soon cause protests to resume. By André Bank and Anna SunikMore

A Syrian refugee boy looks out of his parents' tent after heavy rain at the Al-Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan near the border with Syria (photo: REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)

Camps for Syrian Refugees in Zaatari and Atma

Cut off from the Rest of the World

Refugee camps are other-worlds where a tent becomes a home, a field of mud is a playground and where thousands of displaced Syrians are trying to adapt to a new, grim reality. Karen Leigh went to see for herselfMore

Hassan Abu Haniyya (photo: private copyright)

Interview with Hassan Abu Haniyya

The Muslim Brothers' Rigid Structures

According to the Jordanian Islamism expert Hassan Abu Haniyya, the Muslim Brotherhood is still adhering to structures developed in the early 20th century by the movement's founder Hassan al-Banna. This, Haniyya says, blocks the organisation's evolution and at the same time encourages breakaway tendencies. Emad Ghanim spoke to himMore

Demonstration against the government in Amman (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Protests in Jordan

A Small Kingdom with Big Problems

While the eyes of the world are fixed on the escalating violence in Syria, across the border in Jordan, the country's ongoing economic problems threaten to trigger a full-blown political crisis. Dissatisfaction among the population is growing, and criticism of the king is getting louder. Nader Alsarras reportsMore

Protests in Jordan's capital, Amman (photo: Dr. Fakher Daas/DW)

Social Media and the Arab world

Time for Jordan to Go Offline

To this day, social networks serve an important purpose in Jordan in rallying movements against authoritarian rule and social injustice. But their significance during the Arab Spring in the Hashemite kingdom was overrated, as Yasmine El Gharaibeh reports.More