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Deterritorialized Youth

Deterritorialized Youth: Sahrawi and Afghan Refugees at the Margins of the Middle East

Edited by Dawn Chatty
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 284
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  • Book Info
    Deterritorialized Youth
    Book Description:

    The Sahrawi and Afghan refugee youth in the Middle East have been stereotyped regionally and internationally: some have been objectified as passive victims; others have become the beneficiaries of numerous humanitarian aid packages which presume the primacy of the Western model of child development. This book compares and contrasts both the stereotypes and Western-based models of humanitarian assistance among Sahrawi youth with the lack of programming and near total self-sufficiency of Afghan refugee youth in Iran. Both extremes offer an important opportunity to further explore the impact which forced migration and prolonged conflict have had, and continue to have, on the lives of these refugee youth and their families. This study examines refugee communities closely linked with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and a host of other UN agencies in the case of the Sahrawi and near total lack of humanitarian aid in the case of Afghan refugees in Iran.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-818-8
    Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-vii)
  5. List of Appendices
    (pp. viii-viii)
  6. Introduction: Deterritorialized Youth: Sahrawi and Afghan Refugees at the Margins of the Middle East
    (pp. 1-34)
    Dawn Chatty

    Studies of refugee youth in the Middle East have largely focused on Palestinians, while the situation of Afghan and Sahrawi refugee youth at the margins of the Middle East has attracted little attention. The resilience of Palestinian youth has come to be a contemporary theme in numerous academic and practitioner studies (Barber 2001, 2008; Chatty and Hundt 2001, 2005; Hart 2007). Their ‘right of return’ to their original homeland continues to be hotly debated and discussed internationally. However, Israel, the government occupying their historic homeland, does not allow them back. Sahrawi and Afghan refugee youth, unlike their Palestinian contemporaries, are...


    • 1 Identity With/out Territory: Sahrawi Refugee Youth in Transnational Space
      (pp. 37-84)
      Dawn Chatty, Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Gina Crivello

      Thirty years after the first wave of refugees from Western Sahara fled their territory and took refuge along the border areas of south-western Algeria, a second generation has grown up without territory, patently committed to supporting its government-in-exile’s goal of return.² Sahrawi refugee youth are highly politicized and imbued with a sense of the importance of education, which they perceive as a major weapon in their nation’s fight for economic and political survival. Educational opportunity also instils Sahrawi youth with a sense of hope for a better future. They accept the transnational reality of their education and recognize that the...

    • 2 The Ties that Bind: Sahrawi Children and the Mediation of Aid in Exile
      (pp. 85-118)
      Gina Crivello and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

      In June 2005, eleven year-old Fawzia, with little more than the clothes she was wearing, boarded a chartered flight to Madrid, Spain. She travelled without her family, yet surrounded by hundreds of other children who, like herself, live in the Sahrawi refugee camps in the harsh Algerian desert. For many of the children it was their first time leaving the refugee camps and, more importantly, their mothers, for an extended period of time. But for Fawzia, the journey has become a relatively familiar one, this being her fourth trip to Spain to spend the summer with the Romero family in...

    • 3 Food and Identity among Sahrawi Refugee Young People
      (pp. 119-142)
      Nicola Cozza

      This chapter presents the findings of a sub-study on the relationship between food and identity among young Sahrawi camp refugees in Algeria aged from about eight to eighteen years. It is part of a wider research project on the relationships between food and identity among Sahrawi and Afghan refugee children (SARC project). In particular, this study complements the work carried out by Dr Alessandro Monsutti, who investigated issues related to food and identity among Afghan youth employing similar methodological instruments and approach (see chapter 6). The data collected and the analyses developed in the course of these two field-based studies...


    • 4 Refusing the Margins: Afghan Refugee Youth in Iran
      (pp. 145-182)
      Homa Hoodfar

      After security, educating the younger generation is the single most important concern of Afghan refugees in Iran (Hoodfar 2004).¹ While such concerns are not unusual for those, such as Palestinians, who live with insecurity and in a conflict situation, this is a remarkable development considering that the initial large-scale wave of Afghans migrating to Iran in the 1980s was predominantly illiterate, and many of the refugees cited the introduction by the Soviet backed of compulsory schooling (together with the new marriage law), as the major reason for becoming refugees (Hoodfar 2004; Dupree 1984). At that time, schooling, particularly for girls,...

    • 5 Afghan Refugee Youth in Iran and the Morality of Repatriation
      (pp. 183-212)
      Sarah Kamal

      The ‘Children and Adolescents in Sahrawi and Afghani Refugee Households: Living with the Effects of Prolonged Armed Conflict and Forced Migration’ (SARC) research project studied coping strategies and issues of belonging and identity among long-term Afghan and Sahrawi refugee youth in 2003. Our participatory research in Iran attempted to encourage the Afghan youth in our study to engage with and learn from the research, develop their skills and knowledge base, and build trust with the research team at a time of relatively high instability. In Tehran, over 100 Afghan youth became involved in SARC activities, such as generating video footage,...

    • 6 Food and Identity among Young Afghans in Iran
      (pp. 213-248)
      Alessandro Monsutti

      It is the evening before‘id ul-fitr,on a building site [in Tehran]. It is freezing cold in the small room where five or six young Afghan workers and I are staying. Abdullah²has just arrived from Afghanistan. He extracts from one of the many pockets of his coat a plastic bag with some letters and audio cassettes. He gives one to Mohammad with asawghât,a gift. It is a small blue-green fabric bag with an inscription: ‘from the mother of Karimi, Lukh, to be handed over to Mohammad Karimi in Iran’. ‘What is it?’ asks Mohammad playfully, ‘naswâr?³’...

  9. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 249-252)
  10. Index
    (pp. 253-276)