Zarqa
الزرقاء
City
Coubter-clockwise from top:
View of Zarqa, Jabal Tariq quarter, The Zarqa Chamber of Commerce
Zarqa is located in Jordan
Zarqa
Zarqa
Coordinates: 32°05′N 36°06′E / 32.083°N 36.100°E / 32.083; 36.100
CountryJordan
GovernorateZarqa Governorate
Settled1902
Municipality1929
Government
 • TypeMunicipality
 • MayorHijazi Assaf
Area
 • Total60 km2 (20 sq mi)
Elevation
619 m (2,031 ft)
Population
 (2015)
 • Total635,160
 • Density11,000/km2 (27,000/sq mi)
Time zone+3
Area code+(962)5

Zarqa (Arabic: الزرقاء) is the capital of Zarqa Governorate in Jordan. Its name means "the blue (city)". It had a population of 635,160 inhabitants in 2015,[1] and is the second most populous city in Jordan after Amman.

History

The Zarqa train station of the Ottoman-built Hejaz Railway.

Although the area has been inhabited since the first century AD, the city of Zarqa was only established in 1902, by Chechen immigrants who were displaced due to the wars between the Ottoman and Russian Empires.[2][3] They settled along the Zarqa River. At that time a station on the Hejaz Railway was built in the new settlement. The railway station turned Zarqa into an important hub. On 10 April 1905, the Ottoman governor issued a decree that allowed the Chechen immigrants to own the land they had settled on. The population then quickly grew in size. On 18 November 1928, the new Jordanian government issued a decree to establish the first municipal council for Zarqa.

After the Transjordan Frontier Force was formed in 1926, military bases were constructed in the city by the British Army, and the city later became known as the "military city".[4] The headquarters of Jordan's Arab Legion were also located in Zarqa.

The oldest Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan, known as Zarqa Camp, is located near the city. It was set up by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1949, after the exodus of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Although the camp initially consisted of tents, UNRWA eventually replaced these tents with concrete shelters.[5] More refugees came to Zarqa after the 1990–91 Gulf War, when the Kuwaiti government expelled a quarter-million Palestinians, whom it suspected of supporting Saddam Hussein's Iraq in that war. More than half of those expelled went to Zarqa or the nearby city of Russeifa.[6]

During the Black September conflict in 1970, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine members hijacked five airplanes, and forced three to land at Dawson's Field, an airstrip in the desert near Zarqa.

Zarqa is regarded today as a "marginalized" and "conservative" city,[7] with a large Palestinian population.[6] It is a stronghold of political Islamism, and is home to many supporters of the opposition Islamic Action Front party, which is the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. The city was home to jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the first leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.[8] About one-third of Jordanians who left to fight in the Syrian Civil War, mainly for Islamist groups, are believed to have come from Zarqa - more than from any other area in the country.[9]

Geography

Zarqa is located in the Zarqa River basin in northeast Jordan. The city is situated 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Amman, and its area is 60 square kilometers.[10]

Climate

Zarqa has a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: BSk). The average annual temperature is 17.4 °C (63.3 °F), and around 182 mm (7.17 in) of precipitation falls annually, mostly in winter months. Zarqa's elevation is 619 meters above sea level, and the city occasionally receives snowfall in winter.

Climate data for Zarqa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 13.2
(55.8)
15.1
(59.2)
18.5
(65.3)
23.7
(74.7)
28.6
(83.5)
31.5
(88.7)
32.6
(90.7)
32.6
(90.7)
31.5
(88.7)
27.7
(81.9)
21.0
(69.8)
14.9
(58.8)
24.2
(75.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.1
(46.6)
9.6
(49.3)
12.4
(54.3)
16.6
(61.9)
20.9
(69.6)
23.7
(74.7)
25.0
(77.0)
25.0
(77.0)
23.7
(74.7)
20.1
(68.2)
14.6
(58.3)
9.5
(49.1)
17.4
(63.4)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 3.0
(37.4)
4.1
(39.4)
6.3
(43.3)
9.6
(49.3)
13.2
(55.8)
15.9
(60.6)
17.5
(63.5)
17.4
(63.3)
16.0
(60.8)
12.5
(54.5)
8.2
(46.8)
4.1
(39.4)
10.7
(51.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 42
(1.7)
38
(1.5)
31
(1.2)
10
(0.4)
3
(0.1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
4
(0.2)
20
(0.8)
34
(1.3)
182
(7.2)
Source: [11]

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
19031,000—    
19286,000+7.43%
195228,456+6.70%
1994350,849+6.16%
2004395,227+1.20%
2015635,160+4.41%
2021735,744+2.48%

With 700,000 people as of 2010, Zarqa has the third-largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman and Irbid. Zarqa city proper is the second-most populous in Jordan after Amman, with a population of about 635,000.

Districts of Greater Zarqa Municipality

The city of Zarqa is divided into five districts that have a combined area of about 60 km2 (23 sq mi), and another two districts within the radius of influence of the city.[clarification needed]

District Area (km2)
1 First District (City center) 2.96
2 Second District (Althawra Al-Arabiya) 11.3
3 Third District (Ewajan) 12.2
4 Fourth District (Zawahreh) 16
5 Fifth District (New Zarqa) 17
6 Sports Complex District 3.5
7 Zarqa City Gardens District 19

Economy and infrastructure

The Amman-Zarqa highway
Central Zarqa

Transportation

The Faculty of Engineering in the Zarqa University.

From 1908-20, the Hejaz Railway connected Zarqa to Amman, to the south; and to Syria, to the north.[citation needed]

Zarqa lies on the international highway that connects Saudi Arabia with Syria, and the international Amman-Baghdad highway also passes through the city.[citation needed]

Industry

Zarqa is Jordan's industrial centre. It is home to over 50% of Jordanian factories. The growth of industry in the city is the result of low real estate costs and proximity to the capital Amman.[citation needed]

Several facilities that are vital to Jordan's economy are based in Zarqa, such as Jordan's only oil refinery plant. According to the Zarqa Chamber of Commerce, 10% of Jordan's total exports in 2011 came from Zarqa Governorate, amounting to more than US$512 million. Leather and garment products constituted about 52% of Zarqa'a exports, followed by chemical, agricultural and pharmaceutical products.[citation needed]

In September 2020, massive explosions occurred at an army munitions depot for mortars near Zarqa, caused by a short circuit.[12]

Education

There are three universities in Zarqa, the largest of which is Hashemite University. The other two are Al-Balqa` Applied University and Zarqa University. Other community colleges and research centres are based in Zarqa such as the Al-Zarqa Educational & Investment. The city is also home to many secondary schools (or high schools), most notably the Zarqa Secondary School for Boys, which is considered one of the oldest high schools in Jordan.[citation needed]

Twin towns

Notable people

Main page: Category:People from Zarqa

See also

References

  1. ^ "The General Census - 2015" (PDF). Department of Population Statistics.
  2. ^ Natho, Nadir I., 1927- (2009). Circassian history. New York: Nadir I. Natho. p. 480. ISBN 978-1-4415-2389-1. OCLC 712591748.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Ibragimova, Zarema Ch. (2007). Mir čečencev - XIX vek. Moskva: Probel-2000. pp. chapter 19. ISBN 978-5-98604-089-9. OCLC 220247120.
  4. ^ "تاريــخ مديــنة الزرقــــاء | وحدة التنمية و التخطيط - محافظة الزرقاء". Archived from the original on December 12, 2009. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
  5. ^ "Zarqa Camp". UNRWA. United Nations. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Riedel, Bruce (2010). The Search for Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future. Washington: Brookings Institution Press. p. 89.
  7. ^ Pizzi, Michael (June 5, 2015). "Foreign fighters come home to roost in Jordan". Al Jazeera. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  8. ^ Cambanis, Thanassis (November 16, 2007). "Jordan's Islamists Seek Offices Their Allies Scorn". New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  9. ^ Hubbard, Ben (April 12, 2014). "In Jordan Town, Syria War Inspires Jihadist Dreams". New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  10. ^ Su, Alice (14 February 2014). "In the Middle East, Arabic Wikipedia is a flashpoint — and a beacon". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Climate: Zarqa". 17 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Major explosion rocks arms depot in Jordan, but no casualties reported". France 24. 11 September 2020.