The dispossession and forced migration of nearly 50 percent of Syria's population has produced the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. This talk places the current displacement within the context of the widespread migrations that have indelibly marked the region throughout the last 150 years. Syria itself has harbored millions from its neighboring lands, and Syrian society has been shaped by these diasporas. Dawn Chatty explores how modern Syria came to be a refuge state, focusing first on the major forced migrations into Syria of Circassians, Armenians, Kurds, Palestinians, and Iraqis. Drawing heavily on individual narratives and stories of integration, adaptation, and compromise, she shows that a local cosmopolitanism came to be seen as intrinsic to Syrian society.
Dawn Chatty, Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration, Former Director of the Refugee Studies Centre and Emeritus Fellow, St Cross College, University of Oxford
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
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