Jordanian American

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Jordanian American
Mohammad S.Obaidat.Justin AbdelkaderYousef Abu-Taleb
Total population
72,730 (2011 American Community Survey)[1]
63,334 (Jordanian-born, 2007-2011)[2]
Regions with significant populations
New York City Metropolitan Area[3]
New Jersey · Washington, DC · Chicago.
Languages
American English · Arabic
Religion
Christianity · Sunni Islam · Atheism
Related ethnic groups
Israeli American · Lebanese American · Palestinian American · Syrian Americans · Egyptian Americans · other Arabs

Jordanian-American are Americans who are descended from Jordanian people. According to surveys conducted in 2011 with respect to the American population, there some 72,730 people descend from Jordanians.

History[edit]

The history of the Jordanian immigration to the United States is relatively recent. It seems that the first Jordanians who emigrated to this country did it shortly after the Second World War (1945) in relatively small groups. Those first Jordanians settled in Chicago esp. in Near West and Southwest Sides section,"[4] New York City, and the Southwest and West Coast states (i.e. California) at the end of 1950, when about 1,000 Jordanians lived in the country.[citation needed]

These early migrants were forced to work as immigrants because of poverty that Jordan suffered at the time, caused by the Arab-Israeli War, which took place in this small country. They were a group of hard workers. Some of these Jordanians opened retail stores while others managed to earn degrees in business, medicine and engineering. Many men returned with their families to Jordan after working or studying in Chicago and New York for several years.[4]

In those early years, people in the Jordanian East Bank and West Bank Palestinians could travel to the United States with Jordanian passports, creating the undefined category "Palestinian - Jordanian."[4] In the 1950s, 5,762 Jordanians immigrated to the United States. In the mid 1960s, due to U.S. immigration laws and the remained of the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 in Jordan, the number of Jordanians who emigrated to the United States almost doubled: 11,727 Jordanians immigrated. At this time the majority chose to settle in Western cities and in the southwest of the country, except the wealthy Jordanians who felt more comfortable in the suburbs of large cities. Then in the 1970s, 27,535 Jordanians arrived, reflecting an era of civil strife in Jordan. In the 1980s, immigration averaged was around 2,500 a year. By then, the Jordanian community in the United States had grown at a rapid pace, and it already represented a large population. This was in large part related to the Arab-Israeli war in Jordan as well as the Jordanian Civil War of 1970–71. Therefore, a substantial number of Jordanians who settled in the United States at this time were war refugees. The total number of Jordanian immigrants from 1820 to 1984 was 56,720. Jordanian emigration was due to internal strife in his country, well as also economic issues. In the U.S. they remained economic issues and the salaries were higher than in Jordan.[5]

Demography[edit]

The New York City Metropolitan Area is home to the largest Jordanian population in the United States.[3]

Currently, the New York City Metropolitan Area, notably including Paterson, New Jersey, attracts the highest number of legal Jordanian immigrants admitted to the United States.[3] The Little Ramallah community of South Paterson in New Jersey is home to a rapidly growing Jordanian immigrant population. Since the 2nd World War until the 1980s, most Jordanians immigrants were people married, whose ages are comprised between 20 and 39 years. They also had an above-average educational level of persons of the east bank of the Arabian Peninsula. More than 30 percent of those working in the United States were university graduates, and 40 percent were in professional positions. Many immigrants stayed in United States of four and a half to eight years, then returned to Jordan. The United States salaries were higher than those in Jordan, and this attracted immigrants. More than other Middle Eastern immigrants, Jordanians tended to take their families with them when working in the United States. Since the 1980s, many Jordanians have remained in the United States and have formed cohesive communities. The Jordanian American community in Washington, DC, held a candlelight vigil after the death of King Hussein. As a result, they are much less Americanized, if at all, than groups with longer histories American. Guided by family and friends, these new Americans find comfort in neighborhoods established by others people from their home country. Most Jordanian Americans are Eastern Orthodox Christian, although there also are some Muslim, and in such surroundings, they continue their familiar practices in social activities, shopping, and religion. Continued use of their native language and dialect sustains ties with their homeland and delays acculturation. Language is a key factor in the acculturation process. Those who are fluent in English have greater communication and interaction with the majority population. Other factors that can accelerate acculturation include educational levels and the job. The most part how much contact with the larger community occurs on the job. Also, people from urban areas of Jordan be adjust more quickly to America's cities than some people from rural areas. Children often adapt more easily to new surroundings and, as other immigrant groups, tend to assimilate faster than their parents. Jordanian Americans have access to national newspapers published in Arabic. There is sometimes a local Arabic newspaper in a community with a large Arab population, such as Detroit. basically the Jordanians speak Arabic, but there are many Jordanians that speak also English, so Jordan's radio and television stations offer some English programming.[5]Chicago also maintains, even today, a large Jordanian population, which, together with other Arabs, they practice the worship, celebrate the holidays and mobilize politically through of network and organizations like the Professional Association or the Arab American Action Network, the various Islamic cultural centers and area churches and mosques.[4]

Employment and Economic traditions[edit]

Jordanian Americans hold careers in education, business, engineering, and science. The male-female breakdown in the Jordanian American work force is similar. Many Jordanians come to the United States to pursue advanced degrees in medicine and engineering. Most of the Jordanian students in Western Europe and the United States receive financing from their families, but some obtain assistance from the government of Jordan. Students from Western European and American schools tend to gain the more desirable and prestigious positions on their return home. The perceived higher quality of education in the West helps them make more competitive in the job market.[5]

Culture[edit]

Cuisine[edit]

Main article: Jordanian cuisine

Jordanian food is popular in the United States, and many cities boast Jordanian restaurants such as the Petra House in Portland, Oregon. Jordanian food is based on traditional Bedouin cooking. In Jordanian meals, the main course usually starts with several varieties of mazza, or hors d'oeuvres, such as humus, fuul, kube, and tabouleh. Felafel consists of deep-fried chickpea balls. Shwarma is spit-cooked sliced lamb. Lentils, adas in Arabic, are a common ingredient in Jordanian dishes, and there are many recipes for Shorabat 'adas, lentil soup. Magloube is a meat, fish, or vegetable stew served with rice. Jordanian foods are seasoned with spices typical of the Mediterranean, including cumin, garlic, lemons, coriander, and especially saffron. Arabic unleavened bread, or khobz, is eaten with almost everything. A meal finishes with dessert or fresh fruits, and Arabic coffee without which no meeting, whether formal or informal, is complete. Arabic coffee will normally be served continuously during social occasions. To signal that no more is wanted, one slightly tilts the cup when handing it back; otherwise it will be refilled.

Traditionally, lunch is Jordanians' main meal. They usually have a light breakfast and supper. Most Jordanians do not eat pork, which is forbidden to Muslims.[5]

Courtship and Weddings[edit]

Jordanian Americans want their children to marry within the culture or, at least, within the larger Arab-American community. Sometimes a Jordanian American man will travel to Jordan to find a woman he considers a suitable wife. On the other hand, marriage to a non-Jordanian is tolerable, and husband and wife are welcomed into each other's families.

According to Jordanian tradition, that the Jordanians brought to the United States, the bride, groom, and both families plan the weddings, and the groom and his family pay for them. Marriage is for life in the Jordanian American culture. If a couple has marital problems, parents and relatives from both families will intervene. Their focus will be on preserving the marriage. If there are children, the culture dictates that the couple resolve past their own problems for the children's sake. Divorce is uncommon.[5]

Interactions with other ethnic groups[edit]

The Jordanian-Americans tend to be identified particularly with the Palestinians, as both groups share a similar experience: the diaspora. But they are also similar to the Lebanese and the Syrians and share with them, besides the Arabic language and geographic location the three neighboring countries. Often, they have the same political views. Jordanian Americans sometimes reject conflict politically with Israeli organizations in the United States as well as with the pro-Israel policies of the U. S. government.[5]

Religion[edit]

The religious affiliations of Jordanian Americans contrast sharply with the of those of the homeland Jordanian. Jordan is 94 percent Muslim and six percent Christian. However, the Jordanian American community is almost the opposite, with the majority Christian and eight percent Muslim. The largest group of Jordanian American Christians belongs to the Eastern Orthodox Church, the next largest to the Roman Catholic Church, and the remainder to Protestant and Evangelical churches. Jordanian American Christians and Muslims often share their church and mosques with compatible congregations from other Arab groups, with the institutions bolstering the identity and cultural continuity.

The largest of the Christian sects in Jordan, as among Jordanian Americans, is Eastern Orthodox.[5]

Politics and Government[edit]

Jordanians began arriving in the United States at a time—the latter half of the twentieth century— when their new country was rethinking its own structure. The civil rights laws have helped immigrants to feel they do not have to totally submerge their ethnic identity for fully participate in American society. As a result, Jordanian Americans and members of other groups have felt increasingly secure in taking part in local and national political activity, both inside and outside their own groups' interests. They have welcomed to interactions with their mother country as well. In addition, in 1997 a Jordan's prime minister deputy opened a Detroit trade show and urged the United States to take a more active role in the peace process in the Middle East.[5]

Organizations[edit]

Jordanians have many organizations in the U.S. Some of them are: the Jordanian American Association[6][7] (localized in South San Francisco and whose goal is establish social activities for the Jordanian Americans of Northern California)[7] and the Jordanian American Association of New York (whose objective is to relate to Jordanian resident in different parts of the city and establish relationships between them and their families in Jordan).[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. ED229297 - American, Jordanian, and Other Middle Eastern National Perceptions.
  2. Embassy of the United States Amman, Jordan.
  3. Relations with the United States.
  4. American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan Celebrates its Tenth Anniversary.
  5. U.S. Arab population up more than 75 percent since 1990, census report shows