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Refugees

Too Much Memory? Remembering and Forgetting at the Crossroads of the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide

[Forced march through Harput (Kharpert), April 1915. Image via Wikimedia Commons.]

Indeed suffering in common unifies more than joy does. Where national memories are concerned, griefs are of more value than triumphs, for they impose duties and require a common effort.[1] These words from Ernest Renan’s iconic essay of 1882, “Qu'est-ce qu’une Nation?” offer a piercing diagnosis of how some small nations, which have been historic targets of persecution and violence and therefore know that they can easily disappear, have managed to generate and maintain their collective identities during the violent period that was the twentieth century. Painful memory, usually in large doses, has provided a remarkably effective if unhealthy boundary maintenance ...

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New Report: Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP) 2015-16

In December 2014, the Lebanese government issued a joint plan, the Lebanese Crisis Response Plan (LCRP 2015-16) with UN agencies to organize the humanitarian response to the Syria crisis. The plan seeks to stabilize Lebanon during the crisis by continuing humanitarian assistance to the displaced Syrian population and other vulnerable groups, while expanding investments in services, economies and institutions. The Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) steers the LCRP, in collaboration with crisis cell ministries, UNHCR and UNDP. The LCRP comes in five sections: an introduction on Lebanon’s changing dynamics, an overview of vulnerability, a presentation of the ...

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Quick Thoughts on Syria's Humanitarian Crisis: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation with Omar Dahi

As the war in Syria rages on, and with attention turning towards ISIS, the humanitarian crisis in the country has been relegated to the sidelines. In this Quick Thoughts interview for Status (conducted in late-February 2015), Omar Dahi brings it back to the forefront by highlighting the extent and locations of the humanitarian needs across the country, how political circumstances manifest on the ground, and the regime's recent uptick in bombardment. Omar S. Dahi, associate professor of economics at Hampshire College, received his BA in economics from California State University at Long Beach, and his MA and PhD in economics from the University of Notre Dame, ...

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In Need of Aid but Hungry for Peace

[A line to receive food aid in Yarmouk Refugee Camp, Damascus. Image by UNRWA.]

I am in the Yarmouk refugee camp, Damascus, during an aid delivery. A man approaches me and utters three words, “I am hungry”. The sunken eyes in his face are equally eloquent.  His fragile frame expresses volumes. He speaks for a people brutalized, a people sick of war. He is a living symbol of the world’s failure to resolve the crisis in Syria. Yarmouk has become a powerful icon of the wider war and of the Palestinian experience. It was once the densely populated heart of Syria’s Palestinian community. Yarmouk’s pre-war population exceeded one million, among them 150,000 Palestinians. Today it is home to just 18,000 civilians. Its once bustling thoroughfares have ...

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Dismantling Iraqi Health Care and its Regional Impacts: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Omar Dewachi and Rania Masri

In this interview, anthropologist and physician, Omar Dewachi, discusses the building, dismantling, and outsourcing of the Iraqi health care system. In addition to examining the impact of migration on Iraqi patients and Lebanese healthcare today, Dewachi historicizes accusations of Iraq's "ungovernability" from the colonial until the present, and places the conversation within a larger context of the impacts of war on healthcare.  The interview below includes four parts that you can click on separately.  Omar Dewachi is an assistant professor of anthropology and global health at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He trained as a medical doctor ...

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Syria Media Roundup (March 2)

[Image from www.shutterstock.com]

 [This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]   Inside Syria Death: The Only Reliable News in Aleppo News of death in Aleppo has become an everyday occurrence and residents are planning news ways to survive the conflict.  Syrian army and Kurdish forces fight ISIL on two fronts  Uncoordinated offensives against ISIL launch in al-Hassakeh, as regime forces and YPG ...

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القرار الفلسطيني لمجلس الأمن: فتش عن حق العودة

[لاجئون فلسطينيون في أحد مخيمات اللجوء بعد النكبة. المصدر مدونة

اتسعت حدّة الجدل حول مشروع القرار الفلسطيني الذي قدمه الأردن، العضو العربي الوحيد في مجلس الأمن، بالاتفاق مع الفلسطينيين وجامعة الدول العربية. وعلى الرغم من رفض القرار في 30 ديسمبر/كانون الأول الماضي من قبل مجلس الأمن، فقد أكد الفلسطينيون أنهم سيحاولون تقديمه مرة أخرى. وجاء التأكيد الفلسطيني على لسان سفير فلسطين للأمم المتحدة، رياض منصور، في النقاش الأخير أمام مجلس الأمن حول الوضع في فلسطين، من دون أن يعطي موعداً محدداً، أو إشارة إلى تغييرات قد تطرأ على نواة المشروع. أما السفير الإسرائيلي، رون بروسور، فقد وصف المطالب الفلسطينية في حق العودة وإقامة دولة فلسطينيّة، والتي نص عليها مشروع القرار، بـ"غير الواقعية"، وقال إن "حق العودة ليس موضوعاً للنقاش ...

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Al-Wihdat Refugee Camp: Between Inclusion and Exclusion

[Al-Wihdat Refugee Camp. Image by Jihad Nijem]

Drawing on the influential writing of Arendt, Foucault, and Agamben, much of the literature on refugees and refugee camps has generally emphasized the liminality and extraordinariness of the space of the camp. Camps have often been juxtaposed to the city. Whereas the latter has come to represent normality, the camp has been portrayed as the site of hardened national identities and political ideologies or, conversely, as a place of confinement for speechless victims. This approach might result in overlooking the intricate social relations that refugees develop with the city, and maintaining unchanged biased representations of them. In the field of Palestinian studies, ...

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بيان مقهى التـاء مربوطـة في بيروت ردا على مقال جريدة النهار

[صدر هذا البيان عن ادارة مقهى التـاء مربوطـة في تاريخ 6/1/2015] - ذكر المقال المنشور في جريدة النهار بتاريخ 6/1/2015 بقلم حسين حزوري، والذي تضمن كماً من العبارات العنصرية، مطعم تاء مربوطة وأحد موظفيه احمد الحفار ونسب اليهما مواقف عنصرية مرفوضة اتجاه المواطنين السوريين. - ان ذكر مطعم تاء مربوطة وأحد موظفيه ونسب موقف عنصري اليهما امر كاذب وغير صحيح ولم يحصل اصلاً ان زار حسين حزوري المطعم والتقى بأي شخص من إدارته عدا عن انه كذب ايضاً حين نسب وظيفة مدير الى النادل احمد الحفار، وان حقيقة عدم علاقة التاء المربوطة او احد موظفيها بما ورد في المقال تم التأكد منها بعد تحقيق داخلي دقيق وكامل.  - ان مطعم تاء مربوطة وإدارته لم يسبق لهما ان اتخذا اي موقف ينم عن عنصرية او ...

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To Carry Sisyphus and the Rock Together

[Art by Sabhan Adam (Syria). Image from discover-syria.com]

To Carry Sisyphus and the Rock Together Ghatfan Ghannum  Tr. Sinan Antoon I do not care if I am number 1234, 4567, or any other number. There is no difference whatsoever if I become a refugee in the European continent. I held many names in the past. I travelled and moved in my country without fear of canons or airplanes. We only feared wolves and hyenas and used to hunt rabbits and birds. But we recorded the name of our country on history’s forehead so that our children would inherit its renown thousands of years later. My ancestor Sam the son of Noah used to foresee a glorious history for me, but his brother, Aram, would gaze at me with sadness whenever I ...

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Call for Papers--Transformed Nations: State-Policies in Kurdish Populated Areas of Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran (Istanbul, 23 February 2015)

[Image from www.shutterstock.com]

Call for Papers IFEA-Ifpo-University of Exeter Workshop Transformed Nations: State-Policies in Kurdish Populated Areas of Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran (A Comparative Approach from a Transnational Perspective) Istanbul, 23 February 2015 I. Presentation of the Workshop In 2013, the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (IFEA, Istanbul), the French Institute for the Near East (IFPO, Erbil) and the University of Exeter, with the help of Aix- Marseille University, launched a common research program aiming at understanding the redefinition of relations between States and Kurdish-populated areas in the current regional context characterised by an intensification ...

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New Texts Out Now: Reem Charif, Mohamad Hafeda, and Joumana al Jabri, Creative Refuge

[Cover of Reem Charif, Mohamad Hafeda, and Joumana al Jabri, editors,

Reem Charif, Mohamad Hafeda, and Joumana al Jabri, editors, Creative Refuge. Washington, DC: Tadween Books, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What is Febrik? Reem Charif, Mohamad Hafeda, and Joumana al Jabri (RC/MH/JJ): Febrik is a not-for-profit collaborative platform for participatory art and design research projects with practicing architects, designers, and artists active in the Middle East and the United Kingdom. Febrik’s main area of concern lies in the dynamics and practices of public spaces in relation to social and urban change, specifically in relation to negotiations of the right of space of previously unrepresented groups such as children and women and in the context ...

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Water Management in Jordan in Response to the Syrian Crisis: Between Neoliberal Pressures and Social Tensions

Since 1948, the Kingdom of Jordan has taken in a considerable number of refugee populations fleeing conflicts in Palestine, Iraq and now Syria. While this brings the country significant international aid, it also raises the question of the capacity of urban public services to handle this new demographic pressure. These public services, heavily subsidised for reasons of social stability, are in a state of chronic crisis, and are unable to meet user demand. This has led to sharp socio-spatial inequalities, ...

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New Texts Out Now: Noura Erakat, Palestinian Refugees and the Syrian Uprising

Noura Erakat, “Palestinian Refugees and the Syrian Uprising: Filling the Protection Gap During Secondary Forced Displacement.” Oxford International Journal of Refugee Law 26.4 (2014). [Full text available online until June 2015.] Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Noura Erakat (NE): I began to write this article as an LLM student in National Security at the Georgetown University Law Center. In the spring of 2012, I was enrolled in a research seminar on refugees, and at that point there ...

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Ghassan Kanafani's The Stolen Shirt

[What follows is a translation of a short story written by Ghassan Kanfani in 1958, entitled “The Stolen Shirt.” Although among his relatively lesser known works, especially as compared to his far-reaching novels Men in The Sun and All That’s Left for You, this short story is no less representative of Kanafani’s masterful storytelling. It is also just as representative of the often subliminal, disjointed, and non-linear narrative style he is known for, and through which he vividly captures the harsh and ...

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Kurdish Alevi Music and Migration: An Interview with Ozan Aksoy

For Kurdish Alevis, music serves as a mode of articulating and transmitting ideas about collective history, identity, and connections to the geography of former homes in the countryside of Anatolia. Our guest in Ottoman History Podcast Episode #187, Dr. Ozan Aksoy, has explored this crucial role of music within the Alevi community from a variety of angles throughout more than two decades as a musician and researcher. As one of the members of the critically-acclaimed Kardeş Türküler ensemble, Aksoy ...

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The Right to Food Safety: Rights-Based Dialogue as a Springboard towards State-Building

The stances taken by Lebanon’s Public Health Minister Wael Abou Faour in November 2014 took the country by surprise. Departing completely from the norm, Abou Faour published lists of actual businesses that have persisted in producing or selling food unfit for consumption, or not conforming to health standards. Fellow Ministers and others from outside the cabinet criticized Abou Faour, accusing him of adopting a policy of defamation that could have a negative impact on Lebanon’s economy.[1] In response, ...

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Mental Health Programs for Syrian Refugees

Lebanon is host to the largest number of Syrians displaced by the current conflict. Most of these refugees, some one-and-a-half million, live in tragic and precarious conditions.[1] Intensive war and forced displacement are known risk factors for social and mental health problems. Mental health services have become an important component of humanitarian programs in the context of emergencies arising out of conflict. After briefly reviewing the history of mental health programs in acute emergencies ...

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Syrian Refugees Collectivizing in Jordan Becomes a Security Issue

Introduction I first visited the northern city of Irbid, Jordan in the summer of 2013 as an American undergraduate studying Arabic. By joining a youth volunteer group, I came into contact with Syrian social workers who mobilize resources and services among the Syrian community to assist new Syrian arrivals, including injured ex- fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). On my visits to Syrian neighborhoods, I heard a wealth of personal narratives of suffering and resilience that impressed upon me the ...

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بيان مشترك لمؤسسات ومحلات في شارع الحمرا (بيروت) رداً على مقال جريدة النهار

[صدر هذا البيان عن مؤسسات ومحلات في شارع الحمرا (بيروت) في تاريخ 6/1/2015]  بحزن واشمئزاز قرأ الكثيرون مقال حسين حزوري في صحيفة «النهار» الصادرة اليوم السادس من كانون الثاني (العدد 25575). في المقال المذكور أساء الكاتب ليس لمنطقة فقط بل لشعب بأكمله، بلغة عنصرية مهينة.منطقة من بيروت صنعت تاريخها على الانفتاح وتقبّل الآخر واحتضانه هاربا من الظلم، حتى في اسوأ أيام الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية. تاريخياً بنى لبنان سمعة على أنه الملجأ والمقصد لكل مضطهد هارب من الظلم. ولا شكّ بأن راس بيروت – ...

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Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Racism, Alliances, and Misery: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Moe Ali Nayel and Bassam Haddad

Moe Ali Nayel, a freelance journalist, fixer, and translator based in Beirut, Lebanon, discusses the question of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and how the landscape of Lebanon receives them. In addition to his insights and observations, Moe Ali provides signs, posters, warnings, and maps from Beirut. Please find the transcript of the interview below the player. The interview includes three parts that you can click on separately. Moe Ali writes for Lebanese-based and International English publications. ...

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Armenian Diaspora Tourism in Turkey: An Interview with Anny Bakalian

[This interview explores the rising phenomenon of diaspora Armenians traveling throughout Anatolia, following their ancestors’ footprints. Specifically, it focuses on the following questions: What is the meaning of Armenian diaspora tourism to Turkey? Is it a return to the homeland? What emotions do travelers share along the trip? What are typical encounters between the tourists and the locals?] Sinem Adar (SA): You have been travelling with other Armenians from the diaspora to different parts of ...

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سفن حربية في بحر الرمل الجنوبي

[تنشر جدلية بالاشتراك مع مجموعة الـدكتافون ومؤسسة "آرت-ايست" نصوصاً تتناول الحق في الوصول إلى الشاطىء في العالم العربي تحت عنوان "من هنا البحر". نشرت هذه النصوص باللغة الانكليزية على موقع آرت-ايست. تنشر سلسلة "من هنا البحر" تباعاً على موقع جدلية خلال الأسبوع القادم.] تقسم منطقة الرمل الجنوبي، وهي منطقة فقيرة في جنوب مدينة اللاذقيّة، الى عدّة أقسام، أربع منها يقع على خط الساحل الجنوبي، وهي من الشرق إلى الغرب: الشاليهات والتي تحوي مجمع مساكن عسكرية، ومخيم طلائع البعث ...

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Book Launch Event--Creative Refuge: Art-based Research Workshops with Children in Palestinian Refugee Camps (Beirut, 10 October 2014)

Creative Refuge book launch

 Febrik requests the pleasure of your company at the launch of: Creative Refuge  A publication edited by Reem Charif, Mohamad Hafeda and Joumana al Jabri.  Published by Tadween publishing – 2014.

 Friday 10th October, 6.30–8.30pm at T-Marbouta café
 Hamra Square Center, Hamra Str, Beirut. Creative Refuge brings forward the experience of three workshops (2003-2005) working with children at Beit Atfal Assomoud, Burj El Barajne Palestinian ...

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