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Refugees

Enhancing Municipal Capacities in Lebanon

[Syrian Refugees in Sarafand, South Lebanon. Image by Marwa Boustani]

The Civil Society Knowledge Center (CSKC) of Lebanon Support featured last month a paper by Marwa Boustani discussing the potential role of Lebanese municipalities and unions of municipalities in addressing needs generated by the Syrian refugee crisis. The author advocates the strengthening of their capacities through establishing Regional Technical Offices (RTOs)—an institution previously established by UN-Habitat in 2006 in the aftermath of the Israeli war on Lebanon. The role of municipal unions and municipalities in Lebanon in local development and planning is an ongoing policy debate in Lebanon, which was previously discussed on Jadaliyya in this article by Mona ...

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Sahrawi Realities: The Remembrance of Gdeim Izik (Part 2)

[The eviction of Gdeim Izik. Image by mexaraui/Flickr.]

[This is the second article in a two-part series that seeks to reflect on the ways in which social mobilization, creation of space, and new modes of resistance intersect within the Sahrawi community. Between these grooves are nuanced conceptions of Sahrawi identity that are colored by varied experiences but also a shared memory of external domination and displacement. The series is informed by research conducted during a weeklong stay in the Dakhla refugee camp, located about one hundred miles southeast of Tindouf. A week is nowhere near sufficient to fully grasp the over forty years Sahrawi refugees have lived in these conditions and away from their land. A week, ...

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Boom: A Photo Essay

[All photos courtesy of Hisham Ghuzlan]

When I visited Shatila last week two topics dominated conversation: the carnage in Gaza and the deleterious effects of the construction boom underway in the camp. I’ll take them in turn, though Shatilans usually don’t; for them, each topic seems the underbelly of the other. Building in Shatila has long been described by residents as a kind of cancer, its growth both irregular and hazardous. The waves of Syrians and Palestinians fleeing Syria since 2011 have caused it to metastasize. Two years ago its population was estimated at 21,000, around 9000 of them Palestinian. Friends tell me the influx of refugees, alongside the steady flow of Lebanese and labor migrants ...

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On the Margins Roundup (June)

[Image of a ship graveyard in Nouadhibou, Mauritania. Image by slosada/Flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to info@jadaliyya.com.] Somalia Al-Shabab claims deadly Kenya attack Somalia-based group says attacks will continue, and tells tourists to stay away after assault in Mpeketoni kills forty-eight. African solutions for African problems? Ambassador Abukar Arman, former Somalia special envoy to the United States, argues that interventions ...

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Quick Thoughts: Khalil Shaheen on Palestinian Reconciliation and the New Palestinian Authority Government

[Israeli soldiers stationed on a street in occupied Bethlehem, West Bank, streets near a mural by the artist Banksy during protests against Israeli attacks on Gaza, 20 November 2012. Image by Ryan Rodrick Beiler via Shutterstock.com]

[On 23 April 2014 representatives of the rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas signed the Beach Camp Agreement, named after the Gaza Strip refugee camp where it was concluded. In order to assess the latest agreement meant to end the schism in the Palestinian political system, Jadaliyya turned to leading Palestinian political analyst Khalil Shaheen]: Jadaliyya (J): The new Palestinian Authority (PA) government seems very similar to the outgoing government in Ramallah. Why is this the case? Khalil Shaheen (KS): The new PA government represents a limited cabinet reshuffle more than the formation of a new coalition government. It remains the government of President ...

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Revolution and Return: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon and the End of Politics

Diana Allan, Refugees of the Revolution: Experiences of Palestinian Exile. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2013.   For some reason while reading Diana Allan’s wonderful new book, Refugees of the Revolution, I had the idea that its title was Ghosts of the Revolution. I am not sure why. It may be because that revolution, in its silences and absences, so insistently haunts the pages of this study, its traces scattered and lingering in the lives of those who lived it and created it and were left behind by it. And how else could it be? For it is of the past, and it is the past that has brought the Palestinians living in Shatila to where they are today. A ...

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Subaltern Is Not Voiceless – They Sing: Learning from Migrants’ Cultural Production

[Reuben Odoi is an artist and a migrant activist working in Morocco. Photo from exclusive <i>Jadaliyya</i> interview.]

[This article is the third in a Jadaliyya series that addresses the present sociopolitical landscape of migration in Morocco. Read the previous installments in the series by Sébastien Bachelet: "Cynical and Macabre 'Politics of Migration' at Morocco’s Borders." and by Anna Jacobs: "Creation and Cooptation: The Story of Morocco’s Migration Reform."]   In the desert, Reuben Y Odoi had visions. Abandoned, robbed, separated from those he had come to know in their sharing of silent peril, Odoi was dying of thirst. He collapsed. As he contemplated the prospect of joining the thousands of others who disappear into the merciless Sahara ...

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Arsal Struggles to Deal with the Syrian Refugee Overflow

[Arsal. Image by author]

In early April 2014, the UN High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) claimed that the number of Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon passed one million, amounting to a quarter of the host country's resident population. The UNHCR in Lebanon registers at least 2,500 new Syrian refugees every day. Hosting the highest per capita concentration of refugees from Syria in the world, Lebanon is finding it increasingly difficult to keep pace. The small country, beset by exacerbated sectarian tensions, is already stretched to breaking point with rapidly depleting resources. International aid agencies, municipalities, and local authorities face growing challenges in dealing with the ...

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ICAHD Finland Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani

[Mouin Rabbani. Image from screenshot of below video]

The following interview was conducted with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani by the Finland chapter of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions on 2 February 2014. In the interview, Rabbani discusses a range of issues including the impact of the Arab uprisings on Palestine, the 2012 UN campaign, the current effects of the global boycott, diversment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, and the status Palestinian grassroots activism. He also touches on the role of the US, as well as the of the European Union.What is the impact of the Arab uprisings on the question of Palestine? 

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On the Struggle of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

[Syrian children gather on the outskirts of one of the camps in Lebanon. Image by author]

Spring has just landed in Lebanon. Its warmth and colors soothing the dried winter skin of the vast majority of Syrian refugees who resisted icy temperatures and freezing to death underneath thin canvas tents. Lebanon is now home to approximately one million Syrians, displaced from their war-ravaged cities and towns in Syria. Amid unfettered exploitations, Syrian families, forced to seek refuge in Lebanon, have fought a hostile season in a hostile environment that they mistook as neighborly. During the reign of Alexa, a polar storm that hit Lebanon at the start of December 2013, while walking between a maze of tents in Arsal,  Amira grabbed my arm and said, “Sir, I ...

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Reconfiguring Relief Mechanisms: The Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon

[Picture of the

The Issam Faris Institute (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) has released a report, authored by Rabih Shibli, the associate director for Development and Community Projects at AUB’s Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service. The report investigates the impacts of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, and advocates the reform of current relief mechanisms along more decentralized mechanisms.  The report suggests establishing a new governance system at the level of the eight Lebanese mohafazat (governorates). It supports the establishment of a “Council of Mohafaza” which task would be to coordinate relief mechanisms comprehensively and ...

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Return Unifies Us: Global Day Of Action For And By Palestinian Refugees

[

 25 March, 2014 On Saturday 22 March, Palestinians held a day of activities in Syria’s devastated Yarmouk refugee camp. In what has now become a rare occurrence for the besieged camp, concerts took place and music was played, organized by the Damascene School, in cooperation with Yarmouk Youth Group, Sawa’ed Group and the Palestinian Charitable Association. This was one of a series of events held as a result of a “Call to Action” on the right of return. The call was put out by several national Palestinian coalitions, led by the Palestinian Global Right of Return Coalition, and including the BDS National Committee, the Palestinian Scouts and Guides Federation, ...

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New Report: Housing, Land and Property Issues in Lebanon

The UNHCR and UN-Habitat have recently launched a new report assessing the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon by studying issues of housing, land and property. Entitled Housing, Land and Property Issues in Lebanon: Implications of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the report is authored by lawyers Nizar Saghieh and Karim Nammour and Mona Fawaz, associate professor of urban studies and planning at the American University of Beirut, and is accessible through UNHCR’s “Syria Regional Refugee Response” sharing portal. ...

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Ismail Shammout: A Profile from the Archives

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Ismail Last Name: Shammout Date of Birth: 1930 Date of Death: 2006 Nationality: Palestinian Place of Birth: Lod Wife’s ...

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Isolating Gaza

The restriction of Palestinian movement in Gaza and elsewhere has long been a central tactic of the Israeli occupation. During the latest Israeli assault on Gaza considerable media coverage has been given to the Israeli tactic of calling people a few minutes before their homes are bombed. Some observers appear to accept the Israeli contention that this is a humanitarian gesture. Others raise the question of where, in this landscape of violence, in a tiny, densely populated strip of land with no free ...

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Sub-Saharan Migrants’ Quest for Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

[This article is the fourth in a Jadaliyya series that addresses the present sociopolitical landscape of migration in Morocco. Read the previous installments in the series by Sébastien Bachelet: "Cynical and Macabre 'Politics of Migration' at Morocco’s Borders;" by Anna Jacobs: "Creation and Cooptation: The Story of Morocco’s Migration Reform;" and by Allison L. McManus: "Subaltern Is Not Voiceless – They Sing: Learning from Migrants’ Cultural ...

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Counting Votes in Egypt and Practicing Return in Palestine: Interviews with Hossam El-Hamalawy and Samera Esmeir

Despite massive pro-military media propaganda in Egypt, and threats of large fines against those who did not vote, the election commission had to extend the voting for a third day in an attempt to draw more people to polling booths. As predicted, ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was declared president of Egypt with 96% of the votes. So what was behind the low turnout at the elections? Was it apathy or an effective Egyptians boycott? What explains the lack of voter turnout when the military ...

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Sahrawi Realities: Space, Architecture, and Mobility of Displacement (Part 1)

[This is the first of a series of articles that seek to reflect on the ways in which social mobilization, creation of space, and new modes of resistance intersect within the Sahrawi community. Between these grooves are nuanced conceptions of Sahrawi identity that are colored by varied experiences but a shared memory of external domination and displacement. The series is informed by research conducted during a weeklong stay in the Dakhla refugee camp, located about one hundred miles southeast of Tindouf. ...

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4th Annual UC Davis Spring Human Rights Initiative Symposium (9-10 May)

 4th Annual UC Davis Spring Human Rights Initiative Symposium  This year's symposium is being held in conjunction with the meeting of the UC Humanities Institute-supported UC Human Rights Collaboration, which brings together 21 faculty and graduate students from the majority of the UC system's campuses. The papers represent the cutting edge of UC-scholarship on Human Rights and memory, indigeneity, culture, and humanitarianism. The program includes offerings from the disciplines of Art ...

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The Everyday Experience of Humanitarianism in Akkar Villages (Part Two)

Approaches to Program Implementation as Seen by People: Emerging Rifts between the Beneficiaries and the Providers About the People “Ethnicization” of needs and services is the approach according to which beneficiaries need to fit into specific categories in order to qualify for services and goods. In this sense, the way humanitarian programs have been implemented has ethnicized the human needs of such areas. The fact that every kind of assistance is provided according to the “ethnic category”–or, in ...

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غزة والبحر

[ هذا المقال جزء من ”أصوات من أجل غزة" وهو ملف خاص تنشره جدلية على مدار شهر كامل. للإطلاع على بقية المقالات اضغط/ي هنا] يتساوى فلسطينيو غزة أمام جرائم الاحتلال وسطوته على أرواحهم وممتلاكتهم ومكنونات هويتهم، إلا أنهم يختلفون في انتماءاتهم السياسية وخلفياتهم الاجتماعية وتباين أصولهم بين فلاحين وبدو ومدنيين-- يلبس جميعهم ثوب اللجوء أينما حلوا-- وبين مواطنين غزيين أصابهم سهم الاحتلال بلا تمييز.  وفي ظل انحسار الاتصال مع العالم الخارجي ودخول القطاع البائس عامه السابع من الحصار ...

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The Anbar Crisis: Inadequate Response to Increasing Needs

[The following press release was issued by the Danish Refugee Council on 12 March 2014] The violence in Iraq's western province of Anbar has displaced more than 340,000 individuals since late December; mostly women, children and elderly people. The Danish Refugee Council calls for humanitarian support from the international community and urges conflict parties to ensure the safe passage of staff and emergency relief to meet increasing needs of vulnerable populations. The erupting violence has caused ...

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Asylum and the Right to the City: Lessons from Turkey’s Syrian Guests and Other Urban Refugees

The mass movement of Syrians fleeing civil war to neighboring countries has become called the “Syrian refugee crisis.” The sheer volume of refugees brings up questions not only regarding these countries’ financial means and organizational capabilities but also, more importantly, regarding national identity and regional belonging. For example, reports on Jordan point to national concerns about the possible changes in the country’s demographic balance, while refugee rights activists critique Turkey’s open ...

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The Next Round in Gaza

[The following report was issued by the International Crisis Group (ICG) on 25 March 2014.] The Next Round in Gaza Overview   The ceasefire between Israel and Gaza has eroded during the past several months and recently threatened to come to an abrupt end. The day after three members of Islamic Jihad were killed by Israel in a border clash on 11 March 2014, the group, apparently in coordination with Hamas, launched the largest salvo of rockets toward Israel since the last major ...

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