“I have friends from Iraq and Syria through CRP—and that’s great,” says Ameera, a beneficiary at CRP. Hashemi Shamali, the neighborhood where CRP operates, is a diverse one. Many residents are refugees, mostly from Iraq and Syria. Others come from Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. And some, like Ameera, are Jordanian.

Ameera, a Jordanian resident of Hashemi Shamali who’s involved with CRP.

This mix of people makes for a diverse neighborhood, but it can also be a source of tension. Jordan is a small country, and it struggles to absorb hundreds of thousands of refugees. Housing costs have soared, and many in Jordan blame the new arrivals. These tensions can leave refugees feeling unwanted or accused, and can also turn Jordanians against their new neighbors. At CRP, we work to combat that.

Our programs are open to everyone, regardless of national origin, and we encourage our beneficiaries to build connections across backgrounds. At our Community Center, Syrians, Iraqis, Jordanians, and others get the chance to meet, make friends, and build community.

CRP was founded to serve refugees, and that remains our key mission. But as part of that goal, we want to build community in our neighborhood of Hashemi Shamali, which is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Amman. As a policy, we welcome any resident to our activities. Jordanians play an important role in our community, and many of them benefit from our programs.

Ameera, a Jordanian, first heard about CRP from her sister’s neighbor, who suggested she attend English Class here (CRP offers English classes to everyone free of charge, unique among English-language opportunities in Amman). She did, and she and her sister have stayed involved with CRP ever since. Though Ameera isn’t taking English during summer term, she still spends time at CRP, and her daughter participates in SuperGirls. “My daughter is shy, but after being in SuperGirls she became more open,” she says. “She’s started to have friends, to socialize, and to talk and converse.”

SuperGirls empowers refugee girls to work through trauma and build confidence. But for Jordanian participants like Ameera’s daughter, the program still promotes leadership. Like many activities at CRP, SuperGirls is diverse. As participants learn and play together, they become friends and learn to appreciate their differences. Refugees and Jordanians alike benefit from our programs. That’s why we welcome everyone to participate.

Ameera is excited that she and her daughter get to meet people from different backgrounds. As she says, “the diversity is beautiful.” Jordan has experienced a huge influx of refugees, leaving many people isolated from their former communities. But at CRP, we do our best to bring people together. “It’s very happy,” says Ameera. “Thank you so much for what you do.”

At CRP, we provide the people of Hashemi Shamali with opportunities to make friends and learn skills. Through shared activities, participants get to know their neighbors of different backgrounds, and they take these lessons back to their everyday lives. This social cohesion forms strong bonds in the community, promoting acceptance and unity.

CRP serves as a focal point for the community in Hashemi Shamali, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Please, support CRP here.