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First Jordanian Elections post Arab Uprisings; Challenges of Reporting from Syria

[Ink stained fingers after voting. Image by james_gordon_losangeles via. flickr] [Ink stained fingers after voting. Image by james_gordon_losangeles via. flickr]

This week, Amman-based activist and writer Hisham Bustani updates VOMENA on the first Jordanian parliamentary elections since the Arab uprisings, and what they mean for the country.

More than thirty journalists were killed in Syria in 2012 alone. Istanbul-based freelance journalist Justin Vela talks about the challenges and pitfalls of reporting from a Syrian warzone.


[Correction from Hisham Bustani: To correct a mistake I made in the interview regarding the number of the Jordanian Parliament's seats. The correct total number of seats is 150 seats: 123 seats of which are dedicated to the single vote/local district individual candidates;  and twent-seven seats of which are dedicated to list candidates.]

Syrian Population Regression

Population: ~ 22.5 Million

2011:  5,800+ (killed)

2012:  60,000+ (killed) and 500,000+ (external refugees)

2013:  100,000+ (killed), 2,000,000+ (external refugees), and 8 million+ displaced

 

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Syria Map and Stats

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Population: 22,517,750
GDP: $107.4 billion 
Unemployment: 8.3%; Youth Employment (ages 15-24): 19.1%
Internet Users: 4.469 million 
Exchange Rate: ~ 98.00 Syrian pounds per US dollar
GDP Growth Rate: 3.2% 
Military Expenditures: 5.9% of GDP (World Rank: 10)
Health Expenditures: 2.9% of GDP (World Rank: 180)
Population Growth Rate: 0.913% 
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 35.2%; 15-64 years: 61%; 65 years and over: 3.8%
Literacy: 79.6%
Religious Demographics: Sunni Muslim 74%; other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16%; Christian (various denominations) 10%
Ethnic Demographics: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%