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MES Lecture: Nell Gabiam – Stay in Turkey or Continue Toward Europe?

October 29, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT

“Stay in Turkey or Continue Toward Europe? Palestinians Displaced from Syria and the Instability of Exile”

According to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works for Palestine Refugees) an estimated 20% of Syria’s Palestinian refugee population has been displaced across borders by the ongoing war in Syria. Of this number, an estimated 85, 000 Palestinians have reached Europe, often using Turkey as a transit point. However, an estimated 9,000 Palestinians who crossed into Turkey from Syria have remained in Turkey. Why did this minority not continue to Europe—even in 2015, when Germany opened its borders to refugees from Syria? This presentation will highlight the cultural, political, economic, and physical factors that help explain why some Palestinians displaced by the war in Syria have stayed in Turkey instead of using the country as a transit point to Europe.

About the presenter:

Nell Gabiam is Associate professor of anthropology and political science at Iowa State University. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. She is the author of The Politics of Suffering: Syria’s Palestinian Refugee Camps, which was published in May 2016 by Indiana University Press. While her earlier research focused on the politics of humanitarianism and development in Palestinian refugee camps, her more recent research focuses on Palestinians displaced by the ongoing Syrian war and has taken her to Jordan, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, France, Sweden, and Germany.


October 29, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Middle East Studies Program
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