Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dawn Chatty's "Syria: The Making and Unmaking of a Refuge State"

Dawn Chatty is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration and former Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, Department of International Development, Oxford University and the author of Displacement and Dispossession in the Modern Middle East and From Camel to Truck.

She applied the “Page 99 Test” to her new book, Syria: The Making and Unmaking of a Refuge State, and reported the following:
From page 99:
Three Armenian delegations from the new republic attended the January 1919 Paris Peace Conference (Hovannisian, 1987). Their public relations success can be found in one of the first acts of the conference, which declared that ‘because of the historical misgovernment of the Turks of subject peoples and the terrible massacres of Armenians and others in recent years, the Allied and Associated Powers are agreed that Armenia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Arabia must be completely severed from the Turkish Empire’ and provisionally recognized as independent nations subject to the ‘administrative assistance’ of a Mandatory power.
What happened next is the story which this book tries to tell, the making and unmaking of the Syrian state as a place of refuge for Circassians, Kosovars, and Albanians, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Palestinians, and later Lebanese and Iraqis.

I have written this book in an accessible manner to appeal to most interested readers. Each chapter who found sanctuary in Syria. The final chapter looks at the waves of people who have recently fled Syria and sought asylum in neighbouring countries. For many Syrians, there is disappointment that having provided refuge for displaced people for nearly a century, they are now faced with closed doors beyond their Mediterranean neighbours.
Learn more about Syria: The Making and Unmaking of a Refuge State at the Oxford University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue