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Conference: AUB City Debates 2016: March 2-4

The yearly City Debates conference is organized by the graduate programs in Urban Planning, Policy and Design (MUPP-MUD) at the American University of Beirut. This year's City Debates stems from a relational and multi-scalar understanding of urban policy as an assemblage of ideas and tools that circulate and transform. It seeks to examine how international aid promotes the mobility of urban policy ideas, and mobilizes a range of stakeholders, and technologies in the process. City Debates 2016 explores these questions by investigating two sets of urban policies: regional planning, and refugee policies. How is international aid promoting state rescaling, and an ...

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The Art of Healing: Syrian Refugee Children Express Themselves

[A student (name withheld) at the Friendship School in Turkey. Photo by David Gross.]

[Note: The children's portraits are not paired with their drawings, for the sake of their privacy. The young artists of the drawings are kept anonymous and all children are only referred to by first name, when permitted.] The Syrian civil war has created the largest refugee crisis in a generation, yet the world has not provided for nearly enough of them. Many Syrians, mostly children, still need the basics: shelter, education, food, and security. Many also need psychosocial support and therapy to cope with their traumatic experiences. As a photojournalist I have covered war, conflict, natural disasters, and their aftermath. However, when it came to depicting the Syrian ...

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The Ambiguous Encampment of the World

Michel Agier (ed.), Un monde de camps (A World of Camps), (Paris: La Découverte, 2014). The refugee camp is a topic of interest for many social scientists coming from different disciplines such as geography, urban studies, and anthropology. Literature on refugee camps has often been fragmented according to regions or to their particular dynamics (Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East, refugee camps of the past decade's wars in different parts of Africa, administrative detention centres for asylum seekers or “illegal” immigrants in Europe). Edited by French anthropologist Michel Agier, the aim of this volume Un monde de camps (A world of camps) is to go beyond ...

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Prominent Anthropologists Explain Why They Support the AAA Boycott Resolution

On 20 November 2015, members of the American Anthropological Association will vote on a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions. Over the past year, a number of prominent anthropologists have written eloquently about why they support such a boycott, urging their colleagues to join them in that support. Here are some of the highlights:         Lisa Rofel & Ilana Feldman, Why Anthropologists Should Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions James Ferguson, Israel BDS - Why I Signed . . . Reluctantly Thomas Blom Hansen, Why I Support the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions Hilla Dayan, I Support the Boycott from Within Talal ...

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Eyes on the Sea: Syrian Refugees Flee Egypt

[Ali, 14, is from Douma, near Damascus. His family left their home after repeated raids and in very difficult circumstances. They moved within Syria more than eight times, fleeing gangs, attacks, and humiliation. Photo by Ebrahim Elmoly]

In June 2014, photographer Ebrahim Elmoly started a project to document the lives of Syrian refugees in Egypt. He spent one month each following three families. Below are their stories. Where possible, Ebrahim has followed up with the individuals to find out what happened

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Gaza’s Untold Story

[This picture is from Creative Commons.]

August 26, 2015 marked the first anniversary of Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip, during which 2,219 Palestinians were killed. However, a large part of the story is left untold. Over half of those killed were refugees who were displaced from their homes in Yafa, Salama, Isdud, and many other villages and towns, as a result of and following the Nakba in 1948. The majority of those killed lived in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip within a 30 mile (50 km) radius of their homes of origin. A total of 1,236 refugees were killed during the 2014 offensive, including at least 309 children [Click to download] This data visualization visually represents the untold story of ...

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"We took the boat of death": Syrian Refugees Arrive in Austria

[Syrian refugees along with other migrants marching from the Hungarian city of Hegyeshalom to the Austrian border. September 2015. Photo by Jonathan Rashad.]

In September 2015, tens of thousands of Syrian refugees flooded into Austria from the Hungarian city of Hegyeshalom, six kilometers from the Austrian-Hungarian border. According to the United Nations, more than four million Syrians have fled the country since the civil war started. "We took the boat of death and drowned in the Aegean Sea on the way to Greece," said Hassan Elbalah, a Syrian refugee who escaped the war this year. As I waited in the bus station in Berlin before heading to Hungary, two Syrian men approached me and desperately asked if I knew how they could go to Malmo, Sweden. When I arrived, the Keleti train station in Budapest seemed ...

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غزة بلوز: دندنات الحب والموت والمقاومة

[مصدر الصورة الكاتب]

              "هنا، عند مُنْحَدَرات التلالِ، أمامَ الغروبِ وفُوَّهَةِ الوقتِ، قُرْبَ بساتينَ مقطوعةِ الظلِّ، نفعَلُ ما يفعَلُ السُجَناءُ، وما يفعلُ العاطلون عَن العَمَل: نُرَبِّي الأَمَلْ." محمود درويش يقال أن الألم يُبرز أفضل ما في الإنسان . حين ارتكبت إسرائيل واحدة من أفظع جرائمها في يوليو 2014  في حي الشجاعية والتي راح ضحيتها العشرات من الناس الأبرياء، صرتُ إنساناً آخر. لقد اختلطت مشاعري وقتها: عجز، رعب، ألم، وحدة، عزلة، كآبة، وعناد كبير... ولم يمكنني، كوني ناشطاً،  من منع الطائرات والدبابات الإسرائيلية، أمريكية الصنع، من استهداف خزاعة، ولا من قصف المنازل في بيت حانون. لقد كان طعم العجز ...

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Reimagining the University in a Time of Crisis – Every Campus a Refuge Campaign

[Image taken by Kat Miller, Guilford student]

The refugee crisis is a perpetual crisis. As long as there has been conflict, there have been refugees. I myself am the child of refugees, their first, born in a country right across the river from the one they fled. We were lucky; my family escaped the drudgeries of the refugee camps to live a life of tenuous citizenry in the “alternate homeland.”  Others around the world are not so lucky.  Many are settled where they initially arrive, their tents simply morphing into the sturdier, stiflingly close, zinc-roofed rooms of the shantytowns.  Still many others never complete the perilous journey. Countless refugees have drowned at sea in capsized boats and ...

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Migration and Exclusion in the Gulf: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation with Omar al-Shehabi

In this interview, Omar al-Shehabi discusses his new co-edited book, Transit States on Immigration in the Gulf, expanding on issues of migration, exclusion and co-optation.  Omar al-Shehabi is the director of the Gulf Centre for Development Policies. His current research interests lie in the demography and political economy of the GCC and the modern history of Bahrain.  The interview below includes three parts that you can click on separately. Please find the transcript of the interview below the player.

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Two Figures on a Bench, in a Park, Tiflis, 1914

[Image from author]

When I was growing up in Amman, where my parents had finally landed as refugees from Palestine, we had a valise where we kept folds of photographs, faded images with wrinkled edges, the oldest ones—just a handful--going back to the early 1910s. The valise was a repository of the cruel itinerary of both branches of my family, a walking history of the dispersion that followed the Aghéd, the term we Armenians use for the national catastrophe that befell us one hundred years ago. Among those few photographs was one that held me in its mystery. I would look at it long, in awe and trepidation, unable to understand what it portended. It was a picture of my grandfather, Yervand ...

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An Update of Our Fall

[Art by Marwan Qassab Bashi (Syria)]

AN UPDATE OF OUR FALL The hair delicate The waves combed it As if composing lines Lamenting the deed The mouth is turned away From the salt and sand The ear a pearl’s shell The murmurs of the tale still wet To us he shows Not his bright face But his back At us he looks Not with the keen eyes But with the soles of the sandals A picture of parts An update of our fall The tiny palm of his hand Cupped Mute petals Beyond time Beyond border  

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Report: The Welfare of Syrian Refugees: Evidence from Jordan and Lebanon

The World Bank and the UNHCR released a new report entitled The Welfare of Syrian Refugees Evidence from Jordan and Lebanon, co-authored by Paolo Verme, Chiara Gigliarano, Christina Wieser, Kerren Hedlund, Marc Petzoldt, and Marco Santacroce, available for download through the Open Knowledge Repository.  This report is the result of a mainly quantitative joint study by the World Bank and the UNHCR, using survey and registry data about Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Syria, in order to assess ...

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اللاجئون السوريّون في المدن الألمانيّة: آليّات إعادة توطينهم وآثارها على البنى العمرانيّة في المدينة

تتطرّق هذه المقالة إلى سكن اللاجئين السورييّن المقيمين في ألمانيا. بناءً على تجربتي في المعيشة في مخيم للّاجئين في مدينة كولن والمواد المتوفرة المتعلّقة بالموضوع تتطرق هذه المقالة بالدرجة الأولى إلى الأنماط المختلفة للمساكن المؤقّتة للّاجئين السوريين في ألمانيا و بالدرجة الثانية إلى العمليّة التي يمرّ اللاجئون السوريون من خلالها أثناء بحثهم عن مساكن دائمة. تناقش المقالة بالدرجة الثالثة و الأهم التغيّر الجاري في البنى العمرانيّة و الاجتماعيّة في ضوء العمليّة المستجدّة لإعادة توطين اللاجئين. على الرغم من ...

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New Texts Out Now: Anthony Gorman and Sossie Kasbarian, Diasporas of the Modern Middle East: Contextualizing Community

Anthony Gorman and Sossie Kasbarian, editors, Diasporas of the Modern Middle East: Contextualizing Community. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Universtiry Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Sossie Kasbarian (SK): The book came out of a workshop that we convened at the University of Edinburgh in October 2011. At the time, I was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW) based at Islamic and Middle East Studies (IMES) at the ...

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Engaged Anthropology: The AAA’s Task Force Report on Israel/Palestine

On 8 October 2015, Israeli security forces brutally beat and arrested two students of Birzeit University, a major Palestinian university in the West Bank. In response, Birzeit issued an appeal to academic and human rights institutions to speak out against the crimes of the Israeli occupation. The university’s appeal is one of hundreds coming in the wake of Israeli actions that violate Palestinians’ academic freedom and human rights inside the occupied territories, as well as in Israel, where ...

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The Early Plight of Humanitarianism

Keith David Watenpaugh, Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015 America is a comfortable and rich country. We have safe homes….Their homes are in ruins….The moan of a race moves out across the heart of a stricken world. This emotive call from a Near East Relief (NER) pamphlet to assist destitute Armenians, entitled The Cry of a Million: Exiled Destitute Dying, was published in 1916, but its words ...

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كيف تصبح انتفاضة ثالثة؟

كتب الكثير خلال الأيام العشرة الماضية عن الأحداث الجارية في وسائل الإعلام الفلسطينية والإسرائيلية والأجنبية، على الرغم من قصر هذه الفترة، وبخاصة ما إذا كانت انتفاضة ثالثة، أم "هبة"، أم شيئاً آخر كلياً. ولا أريد هنا التوقف كثيراً حول التسمية، لكن هناك جانباً قد يكون من الضروري الإشارة إليه، لأنه لا يتعلق فقط بالتسمية، وإنما بجوهر الموضوع، وهو الأمر الذي سأعود إليه بعد قليل. وأشير مباشرة إلى أن السبب الرئيسي في حيرة الكثير من المعلقين الفلسطينيين، إضافة إلى قيادة الجيش الإسرائيلي، ووسائل إعلام ...

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لكي تنتصر الانتفاضة

ليس المطلوب المبالغة في الجدال حول تسمية ما يجري، "هبة" "موجة" "انتفاضة" "ردة فعل دفاعية"، فما يجري، بغض النظر عن التسمية، دليل حيّ جديد على قيامة المارد الفلسطيني من القمقم الذي عاش فيه، خصوصًا خلال السنوات العشر الماضية. لقد سقطت كل التحليلات التي نظّر أصحابها بأن زمن الانتفاضات قد ولّى، وأنّ الشعب الفلسطيني تمزّق وأمعن في الإحباط وتنعّم بالسلام الاقتصادي وخيرات السلطة، وأنه لن تقوم له قائمة لفترة طويلة. لقد أظهرت "الانتفاضة" بأن الفلسطينيين قادرون ...

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Roundtable On Refugee Crisis: Historical Legacies, Political Context, and Legal Mechanisms

Seemingly overnight Europe is confronted with a phenomenon already being experienced in Amman, Damascus, Beirut, Gaziantep and other cities in the Middle East: large numbers of desperate refugees fleeing war, destruction and economic destitution. The policy response of Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon to this influx has come under deserved scrutiny. Still, whatever their faults these countries have hosted millions of refugees despite, in the cases of Lebanon and Jordan, strained resources and weak ...

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كابوس دمشـق وســماواتها: يوميات سورية

العودة إلى الشام 14  آب/أغسطس 2011  وقفتُ في الدور قلقاً بعض الشيء. لطالما أثار فيَّ مطارُ دمشق، أنا الكردي العراقي بجنسيتين عراقية وأخرى أمريكية مع اسم عليّ أن أردده أكثر من مرة قبل ترجمته، خليطاً غريباً من مشاعر التوجس والقلق وصولاً إلى الخوف. تُعتبر المطارات واجهة مصغرة لمدنها وهي بمثابة بوابتها التي تمنحك نكهة روح المدينة. مثّلَ مطارُ دمشق بالنسبة لي بالوجوه العابسة لضباطه وشرطته غرفة تحقيق هائلة وظيفتها بث القلق والخضوع  استعداداً للدخول الى فضاء المدينة العام.    وقفتُ ...

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Ghassan Kanafani: The Horizon Beyond the Gate

The Horizon Beyond the Gate Ghassan Kanafani Translated by Annie Weaver 1 Before reaching the top of the ladder, he stopped to catch his breath. No, it’s not possible that he could be so worn out...he knows well that he’s not tired at all. Carrying nothing more than a small basket and his ladder, the car had dropped him off at the door of the hotel. The ladder wasn’t as tall as he had imagined, but these last three steps. . . they’re always the ones that crush him, melt his legs, and smash his ...

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بعد مرور أربع سنوات: ما من أجوبة سهلة في سوريا

(كُتب هذا المقال في آذار\نيسان. ترجمة: أسامة إسبر) (Read English Version here) بعد أربع سنوات من القتل والتدمير، ليس هناك أسئلة سهلة في سوريا. ذلك أن الحلول الليبرالية المطروحة لا تفتقر للواقعية فحسب، بل هي أيضاً متضمنة في وجهات نظر عالمية غير ناضجة عن الحرية والعدالة والتنمية والعلاقات الدولية وحتى الكرامة الإنسانية، وهذه مصطلحات يدور الجدل حولها. ما من معسكر مهم يقترب من النقاء، وليس هناك معسكر محصن من الأخطاء، وحتى من السلوك الجدير بالازدراء. لكنّ المجموعات ...

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اللاجئون السوريون والخليج: لحظة فك السحر

عندما كتب ميشيل فوكو عن علاقة المعرفة بالسلطة ركز على أهمية العلوم الاجتماعية لتقديم المعرفة الدقيقة اللازمة لأي سلطة تريد تنوير أو ترويض رعيتها. فالإحصائيات والأرقام والمسوحات والاستبيانات والمقابلات المعمقة هدفها تقديم حد أدنى من المعلومات التي على ضوئها سيتم تفسيرها من قبل السلطات السياسية، وإنشاء ما يسمى "بنظام الحقيقة". ومع كل أسف ما نجده هذه الأيام من جدل حول لماذا لم تستقبل دول الخليج اللاجئين السوريين هو تتويج لنظام يتناقض كلياً مع "نظام الحقيقة": إنه "نظام الجهل" أو ...

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