[P6368] (Re)creating Home: Belonging and Finding Community for Refugees in or from the Middle East
Created by Mohammed Kadalah
Thursday, 12/02/21 11:30 am
SUMMARY:As of 2019, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that an unprecedented 80 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced by violence, persecution, and conflict. The UNHCR reports that as of 2018 the Middle East and North Africa are home to 16 million individuals that are refugees, individuals of concern, or internally-displaced people. Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey host the highest number of refugees relative to population size. In 2019, the EU countries granted some sort of protection to almost 300,000 people; among them were Syrians (27%) and Afghanis (14%) of the total number. Just as forced migration is remaking politics, economics, and demography in the region, so is it forcing millions of displaced persons to rethink the meaning of home. Home is where we seek security from the outside world, and it is the locus of human connections and memories. Finding home again for refugees is finding a force to rebuild human connections with family and society. Home eases one’s imagination of what the upcoming experience would look like. This interdisciplinary panel seeks to explore the familial, cultural, and social possibilities for the refugees’ recreation of community and reimagination of home. How do they succeed in building social networks that facilitate their transition into their new lives? What does home mean for refugees, both as an idea and as a geographical space? How do refugees recreate, imagine, and narrate home in the creation of new communities? What is the nature of social and cultural influences that govern the social lives of refugees? The panel invites scholars to explore the possibilities, circumstances of efforts of refugees in their attempts to recreate home and build new networks and communities.
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