Humanitarianism: Keywords, edited by Antonio De Lauri (September 2020)

This is the first humanitarian dictionary for colleagues and practitioners in the field! And it’s open access for everyone.

I contributed with the entries ‘livelihoods’ and ’emergency’.

You can download the file by accessing this link:

https://brill.com/view/title/57214?fbclid=IwAR2-Rg3F0iOHsuNELwqgWVDsdehRl-1Gj5kqK372buAQkMIrSyjoBJqyzUg

Categories: Africa, Arab Gulf, Arabia Saudita, Asia, Australia, Bahrain, Central America, Egitto, Egypt, EmiratiArabiUniti, Europe, Giordania, Golfo Arabo, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Israele, Italy, Jordan, Kurdistan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Levant, Libano, Medio Oriente, Middle East, Nord Africa, North Africa, Palestina, Palestine, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Siria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, United States, USA, Yemen | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

On ethnographic confidence and the politics of knowledge in Lebanon (September 2020)

This article is my ethnographic self-critique, and it comes from my heart. But it also comes from a chronic stomachache. The ache of clashing with ‘epistemic powers’ in Dahiye’s Hezbollah-led municipalities and in Akkar’s humanitarian space. Anthropology has often responded to such issues of ‘research invalidation’ by inviting us to accept this unavoidable ‘tension’. I suggest that more efforts should be made towards the counter-epistemologies coming from the ‘field’. We cannot remain at the ‘centre’, and end of the story…

Read on Contemporary Levant:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20581831.2020.1814036

Fieldworkers in politically sensitive spaces traditionally need to negotiate their presence in the field with local (in)formal authorities and epistemic power-holders. I illustrate how attempts at both holistic politicisation and neutralisation of the research space can question ethnographic knowledge production. Drawing upon the anthropology of silence and agnotology, I interrogate the whats and hows of ethnographic authority and local validation of ethnographic research when political and epistemic powers complexly and discontinuously overlap. By examining how knowledge is boasted about, concealed or questioned by political and humanitarian actors, I examine the ways in which a lack of political protection, as well as overt advocacy, shape different modalities of access – or lack of access – to the field. Against the backdrop of a growing body of literature on the ethics of research in settings affected by political transformations and emergency crises (such as today’s Arab Levant), I try to upend ethnographic confidence as a self-centred process of knowledge production. I instead rethink it not only as an ethical but also an inter-subjective effort towards a more effective integration of the counter-epistemologies of field interlocutors into our own research.

Categories: Lebanon, Levant, Syria, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Academics for Black Survival and Wellness: My Experience

Dear followers,

I’ve just finished attending one of the most useful trainings ever. In all honesty, calling it ‘useful’ is minimizing its effect on my personal life.

I thought being anti-racist could be a personal choice and a self-started act of contestation against White power and supremacy. Thanks to this training, I’ve finally realized I couldn’t effectively be an ‘anti-racist’, because racism is a system. And a system that I barely knew.
Thanks to this workshop I’ve developed an emotionally tangible (not only an enriched, intellectual) idea of what being white means. Initially, I had shared in this post a lot of personal thoughts and what I concretely learnt during this workshop; but what I learnt thanks to this training is also the level of harmfulness that performative allyship with Black lives can cause. This must not be about ourselves, even though it does depart from ourselves and from our willingness to delve into and liberate the White body culture we continuously reproduce – which I could so poorly spell out before taking this training.
To a certain extent, the training is conceived for a US public or, however, focuses on the US historical and political scenario. I do not think the challenge should be about how we ‘export’ such thoughts and teachings from the US – which would be detrimental to a correct understanding and implementation of black liberation – but rather about how we generate ‘incomparable geographies’ (Jazeel, 2018) of black liberation.
If you really intend to question yourself, challenge your status quo, and commit to black liberation, click on ‘introductory training’ and you will have access to the 7 modules:
Do not take the lack of time as an excuse. Whatever you do will make much more sense in the world you can create yourself after the incredible personal process that this training is able to trigger.
Thanks wholeheartedly to the Academics for Black Survival and Wellness team for the huge work they put into this training. And for calling me out.
Categories: Africa, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, United States, USA | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

الندوة النقاشية: مقاومة التطبيع في الخليج: ما العمل؟

Categories: Arab Gulf, Palestine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Le Liban et la recherche internationale après les révoltes de 2011: une «zone de confort»? (August, 2020)

You can access my new article with Rosita Di Peri (University of Turin) on Lebanon as a “comfort zone” for international researchers in the new Issue of Afriche & Orienti, which is Open Access! You can read the abstract here below, and access the link to the article via my Academia page:

Since the 2011 uprising, the Arab world turned into a theatre of political and social transformations. While some have been visible, others, less visible, have however been able to affect the intellectual, social and political infrastructure of international research. Being an important scenario for regional policy developments (Eg. the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran), Lebanon offers an interesting case in point. While this article does not address the October 2019 revolution and the most recent COVID-19 pandemic, we endeavor to unravel the ways in which research themes, methods, and security have changed in the Lebanese context.

Despite domestic instability, Lebanon not only is one of the few countries where conducting research is still possible in a crisis-affected region, but it also emerges as a “comfort zone” for international researchers: a place where to observe regional conflicts while enjoying a consumeristic lifestyle and a privileged position within Lebanese society. We provide a critical inquiry of how, first, the confessional narrative has been abused and reproduced in international research. Second, we focus on how scholars have changed the way of thinking Lebanon’s statehood and political order. Finally, we discuss how the forced migration scholarship has built on the widespread securitization and ethnicization of migration.

https://www.academia.edu/43822890/Le_Liban_et_la_recherche_internationale_après_les_révoltes_de_2011_une_zone_de_confort_

Categories: Lebanon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Different Shades of ‘Neutrality’: Arab Gulf NGO Responses to Syrian Refugees in Northern Lebanon (July, 2020)

The Refuge in a Moving World. Tracing Refugee and Migrant Journeys Across Disciplines edited volume is finally out! UCL Press is open access, you can access the whole book online.

My chapter “Different shades of neutrality” attempts to go beyond debates that discard or acknowledge neutrality as possible in aid provision. I show how humanitarian neutrality is not one, as many western organizations believe. Neutrality is culturally nuanced, and it’s also discursively embraced by Arab Gulf NGOs in northern Lebanon. By advancing the idea of political realism, I explain how these NGOs not only bring politics into humanitarianism – as it’s widely discussed already – but they also have peculiar ways of parading their humanization of politics.

Access the whole book at:

Refuge in a Moving World

Categories: Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Presentazione a IT.A.CA’ di Specchi Scomodi. Etnografia delle Migrazioni Forzate nel Libano Contemporaneo (Mimesis, 2019)

Ringrazio la Biblioteca Cabral di Bologna, Hayat-Bologna, e IT.A.CA’-Migranti e Viaggiatori per l’invito a presentare il mio libro Specchi Scomodi. Etnografia delle Migrazioni Forzate nel Libano Contemporaneo (Mimesis, 2019).

Qui di seguito la registrazione dell’evento.

Categories: Medio Oriente, Middle East, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intervista con Radio Alta Frequenza (Bologna, June 23, 2020)

Categories: Iraq, Lebanon, Middle East, Palestina, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The US protests: Lessons from Syria

Leila's blog

Originally published at Al-Jumhuriya

Floyd Mural Mural by Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun in Idlib. In solidarity with protesters in the US. 1 June 2020

Over the past few days, an uprising has raged in Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States in response to the murder of George Floyd by police. In the spirit of solidarity with those on the streets, I was prompted to think about the lessons from the Syrian revolution that might be applicable to the US context.

View original post 2,246 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Covid-19 among MENA Refugees: A Great Humanitarian Concern (April, 2020)

Republished from: https://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazione/covid-19-among-mena-refugees-great-humanitarian-concern-25679

While some may have initially underestimated the potentially disastrous effects of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, presuming that vulnerable people such as refugees would have more serious issues to deal with than a bad flu, the new coronavirus turns out to be an uncomfortable litmus test for the current state of aid in crisis-hit areas. There is no doubt that it is, however, premature to assess how the pandemic will affect the ways in which crises have been managed over the years to rehabilitate life and livelihoods in the Middle East and North Africa’s conflict-stricken settings, now home to internally displaced people (e.g. Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen) and refugees (e.g. Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan).

Although (un)forced migrants are often believed to be carriers of infectious diseases, today’s pandemic has actually been caused by the arrival of professional travelers or tourists in spaces inhabited by refugees. Echoing past concerns about the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the 2012 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the imminent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in refugee camps worldwide is daunting because large numbers of refugeeswho normally do not own equitable access to healthcare and reside in host countries where health infrastructures have been literally eroded by long-standing conflicts– may be particularly prone to respiratory infections. Refugee camps have become a matter of particular concern, as they tend to be crowded spaces across the Middle East region, where (mostly war-produced) refugees have been residing over decades and, at times, since birth.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, among other self-started measures in camps, Lebanon’s Palestinian refugees have begun fabricating masks to protect personal and collective health before the enactment of formal responses. In the framework of UNHCR’s Coronavirus Emergency Appeal, some international humanitarian agencies enforced prevention and protection measures (e.g. temperature screening at camp entrances). The formal COVID-19 response has primarily been coordinated with governments, even when refugees’ lives are endangered by the former. In Jordan’s Za‘tari and Azraq, mostly hosting thousands of refugees who fled conflict in neighboring Syria and are now in lockdown as per national policies, humanitarian workers have been providing guidelines in Arabic through SMS and street posters about how to preserve personal hygiene and health. However, protective material such as latex gloves, surgical masks and disinfectants – whose prices soared dramatically over the last few weeks due to their scarcity – has been distributed in only a small number of cases.

Also non-camp refugees, who actually make up the vast majority across the Middle East region and who are indiscriminately labeled as “urban refugees”, have become the object of great humanitarian concern. Although they are likely to be more exposed to an urban health system and to have easier access to information, many of them still lack potable water, remain unlikely to access healthcare facilities, and cannot afford quarantine arrangements and social distancingrestrictions.

After INGOs implemented anti-COVID-19 measures, some refugees voiced the need to be informed more broadly rather than simply being taught basic hygiene rules: “Aid providers promised Dettol and masks, but did not mention how we can learn what happens outside of here. No family in this camp owns a TV […] What are the most affected countries, and what are they doing to face all of this?”, as a Syrian refugee living in Bireh (northern Lebanon) put it in one of our recent conversations (March 31, 2020). Humanitarian agencies should therefore scale up simple aid and advice to include deeply informative sessions held in the languages of the camps. Mere guidelines like “washing hands with soap” limits aid to an instrument of biological survival and “human dignity’”. Thus far, humanitarian programs have seemingly approached the pandemic as an exclusively health matter that they can only provide technical advice for. Refugees have instead proven to be a key soft-power tool for global and regional power-holders who, in turn, adopt catastrophe as a back-route to convenient politics. For example, some municipalities in Lebanon have enforced extra curfews on Syrian refugees to reassert territorial sovereignty, parading such measures as needed to limit the spread of COVID-19 in a bid to take advantage of the political leverage that states of exception typically provide. Meanwhile, Syrian refugee families in the Greater Beirut area recently (April 2, 2020) told me that local municipalities highlighted the need for refugees to exclusively address their aid requests to UNHCR and UNRWA (respectively addressing non-Palestinian refugees and Palestinians in Lebanon) in order to deal with the current pandemic.

As today’s emergency crises are mostly of prolonged nature, the COVID-19 pandemic certainly amounts to a series of ageing crises, made up of high unemployment rates among older-date refugees, a chronic lack of available cash – mainly needed to cover the costs of home rent and medications – and, sometimes, even food scarcity. During the pandemic, refugee camps and high-density slums are faced with the challenge of rethinking coping mechanisms and rely on weak infrastructure, while global humanitarian actors historically tend to prioritise later emergencies and under-resource the earlier.

In a world of unequal political geographies, Western countries will possibly be prioritized in the future provision of a vaccine. Instead, the virus is likely to affect refugee camps and spaces for a long time. By then, host states may end up using social distancing as a way of further isolating and warehousing refugees while sugarcoating it as public health protection.

 

Categories: Middle East, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Diario di Siria

Blog di Asmae Dachan "Scrivere per riscoprire il valore della vita umana"

YALLA SOURIYA

Update on Syria revolution -The other side of the coin ignored by the main stream news

ZANZANAGLOB

Sguardi Globali da una Finestra di Cucina al Ticinese

invisiblearabs

Views on anthropological, social and political affairs in the Middle East

Anthrobservations

A blog about understanding humanity- by G. Marranci, PhD

tabsir.net

Views on anthropological, social and political affairs in the Middle East

SiriaLibano

"... chi parte per Beirut e ha in tasca un miliardo..."

Tutto in 30 secondi

[was] appunti e note sul mondo islamico contemporaneo

Anna Vanzan

Views on anthropological, social and political affairs in the Middle East

letturearabe di Jolanda Guardi

Ho sempre immaginato che il Paradiso fosse una sorta di biblioteca (J. L. Borges)