Friday, October 31, 2014

Egypt, Morocco and Turkey, From Transit States to Destination Countries

By Doaa El Banna, Rawan Ibrahim and Yasmine Hassan


Cairo, Egypt - Kelsey P. Norman, a doctoral candidate at The University of California, Irvine, gave a seminar on migration and citizenship on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at The American University in Cairo, AUC, to discuss the treatment towards migrants and refugees in Egypt, Morocco and Turkey.

   The seminar, “Receivers By Default: Determinants of Host State Policy toward Migrants and Refugees in Egypt, Morocco and Turkey,” was hosted by the Center for Migration and Refugees Studies, at the AUC Tahrir campus in downtown Cairo.  

  "What I am presenting is a work in progress and not a conclusion," said Norman, as she explained that she is still in the middle of doing the field research for her Ph.D.

 In the seminar, Norman discussed the case studies of Egypt, Turkey and Morocco based on preliminary field studies conducted in the three countries, in addition to interviews with international migration organizations like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), public servants from relevant ministries, international and local non-governmental organizations, and community based organizations. "I will be talking with individual migrants and refugees," Norman added.

   Norman stated that almost 50 percent of the world's migration today is from one developing country to another, even though most of the available literature focuses on the experience of the traditional settlement states in the West. She explained that "it is becoming increasingly difficult and costly and dangerous for regular migrants to successfully cross from North Africa into Europe."  

  Concerning the treatment of Syrian refugees in Egypt, Norman explained that some Syrians harbored an "anti-Morsy" sentiment after former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy was forced out of office by the Egyptian military on Sunday, June 30, 2013. Following that historical moment in Egyptian History, there appeared to be a media campaign defaming Syrian refugees; who were referred to as "terrorists," and were accused of allying with the Muslim Brotherhood and the ousted president.

“Syrians, who had been welcomed under Morsy and were able to access services that other refugees could not have, became very affiliated with Morsy and even rallied with him,” Norman explained.

 Norman ended the seminar by presenting some causal mechanisms which can determine the relationship between the host state and the migrants or refugees. These include political economy factors, new institutional factors, post national factors, cultural factors and domestic factors.

  “The lecture was good and I benefited a lot from it,” said Farida, a student at Ain Shams University. Farida stated that she wanted to know about migration and its levels nowadays, and said that she got what she wanted from the lecture.