People in conversation

Bringing Refugees and Residents Together in Jordan

In 2018, Jordanian human rights advocate Ilham Darwazeh spent three weeks with Essential Partners thanks to the Professional Fellow Program funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In that time, Darwazeh had the opportunity to attend numerous EP trainings and learn about EP's approach from staff and associates.

Returning to Jordan, Darwazeh planned to use dialogue to build bridges between Jordanian citizens, international aide workers, and the tremendous influx of refugees from across the region.

“Dialogue will be a tool to help them integrate into Jordanian culture and to give them a sense of belonging,” Darwazeh said.

Photo: Refugee dialogues

A Stronger Sense of Belonging

In early 2019, Essential Partners Associate Raina Fox joined Darwazeh to support a dialogue in Amman, Jordan. The diverse group of participants included refugees from Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Palestine and Syria, as well as non-profit affiliates from Germany, Russia, Italy, Palestine, the Netherlands, and Jordan.

Drawing from Essential Partners’ work on breaking down stereotypes, the goal was to highlight the refugees’ needs, help them find a stronger sense of belonging, and to build connections between the refugees and people who work with them through non-profit organizations.

Darwazeh designed her project to foster trust, understanding, and cohesion among refugees, NGO workers, and Jordanians. She has also begun to translate our field guide, Fostering Dialogue Across Divides, into Arabic so people across the Middle East can access EP’s approach.