Zarqa, al-

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Jordanian city.

Lying some 14 miles (23 km) northeast of Jordan's capital, Amman, al-Zarqa is Jordan's second-largest city (pop. 421,000 in 2002). The village witnessed tremendous growth beginning in the 1950s through the presence of a major military base, the development of industry and a free trade zone, and the in-flux of Palestinian refugees (who constitute some 60 to 70 percent of the population).

abla m. amawi