The Amman-based Radio Al-Balad has begun broadcasting a new program focusing on the lives of those in the Jordanian diaspora. Estimates suggest that over a million Jordanians have taken the decision to live abroad, which represents a figure comprising roughly one in ten Jordanians. Tareeq al-Matar (The road to the airport) seeks to shed light on this phenomenon by speaking openly about labor laws in and outside Jordan and elevating the voices of those Jordanians who are seeking job opportunities outside their homeland.
Emigration is an issue familiar to most, if not all, Jordanian families. In the last decade, weak economic growth, the impact of the pandemic and stubbornly high unemployment rates, particularly amongst Jordan’s youth, have sparked increased emigration. Although some benefit from the decision to emigrate in the form of higher wages and more opportunities, others face poor working conditions, unpaid wages and exploitation by their employers. During the radio program, emigrants will describe how their own “road to the airport” unfolded, as well as the outcomes of their decision, both positive and negative. By providing a platform for migrants to recount their experiences through recorded messages and to take control of their own narratives, Tareeq al-Matar strives to humanize Jordanian migrants and their struggles. In addition, interviews with experts will address topics such as communication between migrants and their families, Labor laws and the economic situation in Jordan, in order to place the individual stories of migrants within a larger social, political and economic context.
Presented by Mahmoud al-Khatib, the 30-minute program episodes will be broadcast every Thursday at 12:00 PM Amman time. Tune in to Radio al-Balad in order to listen!
The 10 episodes of the radio program Tareeq al-Matar are produced with the financial support of Heinrich Böll Foundation - Palestine and Jordan.