The Decision to Stay | Italians in Jordan

Italians in Jordan
“Thankfully, I have my flatmates and my friends in the same building, so I have company.”


Selene + Mario | Students & Interns | Amman, Jordan

What led you to move to Jordan from Italy?

S: I moved to Jordan to improve my Arabic and when I saw there was an internship opportunity at the Arabic school, I decided to stay here long term. 

M: I had a similar experience - after my graduation I wanted to improve my Arabic abroad in an Arabic-speaking country. I have been wanting to study abroad since I started my university studies, and this year that dream came true. 

Why did you decide to stay in Jordan when borders were closing due to COVID-19?

S: In Italy, the situation was getting worse and worse, so I decided to stay here because the situation in Jordan was under control and it was much safer here. I wanted to stay safe and wait for the virus to be over. 

M: The reason is the same for me, but also my family did not want for me to make the journey back home. It would have been very hard to get back home because there were no direct flights from Jordan to Italy and the flights were so expensive. My family told me not to come because the journey itself could be too dangerous. 

S: Me too! 

How has the situation in Italy affected you here?

S: The situation that is currently happening in Italy made me realize that this virus is very serious and before I was underestimating it. I have tried to learn from what Italy has done by staying inside to make the virus disappear faster from Jordan.

M: To be honest, the situation hasn’t really affected my life on a daily basis, but it has surely affected my feelings. I have to hear from my family about the situation and see the numbers increase every day in my home country. It made handling the situation here worse for me because it is better here than in Italy. Thinking about my family and the situation in Italy changes my mood. Being here feels like it is not helpful in solving the situation in Italy. 

How do you think the Jordanian government has handled the Coronavirus situation here?

S: I think that Jordan has done a great job. To be honest, at first, I was thinking about trying to get back to Italy, but because of the internship and other stuff I decided to stay here, and I am really happy that I did.

M: I totally agree. At first, I wasn’t really happy with the measures that the government took because, even though businesses were closed, there were still people spending time together. There was no social distancing, but now with the curfew, I think the government has managed to handle the situation very well and hopefully things are going to get better. 

What can you be most grateful for right now?

S: I am happy that I am here in Jordan and not in Italy at this time, and even though we can not go out and have a “normal” life, I can still do my internship. Of course, things have changed, but I am still doing what I wanted to do before, so I am grateful for the current situation here and I think it is going to get better soon. 

M: I am also grateful that I decided to stay here because, as I said, the situation is much better here than in Italy. Thankfully, I have my flatmates and my friends in the same building, so I have company. Basically I am not living through this alone, so I am grateful for this.

My family told me not to come because the journey itself could be too dangerous.