Fragile Humanity: Syrian Refugees in the Middle East

Part of the Arts & Humanities Festival 2013: Being | Human
Presented by the Middle East & Mediterranean Studies Programme

With the number of registered refugees approaching 2 million and no signs of decrease in border crossings to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, Syrian refugees posit the largest humanitarian crisis in the world at this moment. Yet while refugees base their claims on the fragility of their mere existence and states are theoretically bound to protect them on these grounds, refugees are never solely “human”.

Our speakers will delve into the ways humanitarian discourse and practice intersect with the socio-political and economic realities of the host states in the region. As the refugee presence throws into turmoil delicate balances or exacerbates existing tensions within host countries, what is the meaning and function of their humanity?