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Asil Sidahmed

De-Escalation Zones in Syria: Not an Alternative for Refugees

On 3 May 2017, Iran, Turkey, and Russia signed a proposal in Astana for the creation of “de-escalation zones” in Syria.  Fighting—including aerial attacks—would cease and humanitarian assistance would be made available. One such de-escalation zone already exists under the military control of the Turkish-led coalition in Jarablus. It has shown to be a poor alternative for refugees looking to exercise their asylum rights under international refugee law.  The ...

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Asil Sidahmed


Asil Sidahmed is Humanitarian Advisor for MSF in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Prior to joining MSF, Asil worked at a development consulting firm where she managed a team in Yemen. Since then, her consulting career has involved designing empirically driven programmes that address conflict and justice-related issues. As her consulting assignments shifted from a development to a humanitarian focus – most notably in early 2016 where she assisted a needs assessment of refugees and migrants along the migrant trail in the Balkans and Greece – she joined MSF as a humanitarian advisor.

Asil is a Sudanese North-Londoner, born in Prague and based in Beirut. She’s bilingual in Arabic and English. She holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, Wolfson College and a BA in Anthropology of Religion from Lancaster University, Furness College. Her publications have appeared in Muftah, Yemen Today, the Sana’a Center, Audio Kultur and the Arab Centre for Social Sciences.