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This workshop seeks to generate a critical conversation on the interaction between displaced communities in Jordan, particularly Syrians, with development and humanitarian organizations that offer them various services. It has become increasingly crucial to examine these interactions given the precarious and vulnerable position of refugees, and the pressures under which aid organizations, as well as hosting communities, find themselves.

Detail Summary
Datum 15 maart 2018
Tijd 09:15 - 17:45

Since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, many Syrians have been displaced inside and outside of the country. Jordan has been one of the major receiving states, and refugees have settled in camps, as well as in urban and rural areas throughout the Kingdom. In fact, Jordan has a long history of hosting refugees from the region, such as Palestinians and Iraqis. Development and aid organizations have played an important role in managing and providing services to refugees in Jordan. As elsewhere, these organizations have affected, shaped, and transformed refugees’ experiences of displacement (Olivius 2017; Shabaneh 2010).  Refuges themselves have also devised strategies of survival and adaptation to their new circumstances, often actively approaching and challenging these organizations (Cabot 2016; 2012; Gabiam 2012; Jansen 2008; Malkki 1996).

Speakers and presentation titles

Dr. Aisha Hutchinson is a research fellow at the Institute of Applied Social Research, University of Bedfordshire, UK. She is currently undertaking a British Academy funded post-doctoral fellowship on child marriage amongst Syrian refugee communities in Jordan and Lebanon.

Presentation title: Qualitative interviews with governmental and non-governmental organisations in Jordan: exploring the discourses and approaches that shape responses to child marriage with Syrian refugee communities’

Dina Zbeidy is an ERC-funded PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Her research focus lies on problematizations, discourses, and practices around marriages among refugees, human rights and humanitarian organizations in Jordan.

Presentation title: Marriage, displacement, and the language of rights: Vulnerabilities and aspirations among Syrians in Jordan

Emilie Lund Mortensen is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Anthropology, University of Aarhus. She is currently planning her last fieldwork among young Syrian adults in Amman, Jordan. Her work focuses on how the Syrian youth adapt with and are shaped by the circumstances of life in displacement, how they reimagine and practice potentially good lives here, there or elsewhere.

Presentation title: Displaced from a Way: Catching ‘chances’ and becoming comfortable in Amman.

Michelle Lokot is a PhD Candidate at SOAS, researching gender norms among Syrian refugees in Jordan and the implications for humanitarian agencies. She has ten years of experience working on gender equality and women’s empowerment issues for humanitarian and development agencies, including longer-term fieldwork in Jordan, Nigeria and Burundi.

Presentation title: Beyond stereotypes: Syrian gender norms and humanitarian agencies

Ayham Dalal is an architect and PhD student at the Department of International Urbanism and Design (Habitat Unit) at the Technische Universität Berlin. His research looks at the urban space in refugee camps focusing on the impact of power relations, humanitariansim  and culture on home- and place-making. 

Presentation title: Caravanized Ubanism: Territoriality, Morphology and the Social Structuring of Space in Zaatari Camp

Ann-Christin Wagner is a doctoral candidate in the Social Anthropology department at the University of Edinburgh, and currently a visiting fellow at Sciences Po, Paris. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked with the International Organization for Migration in Geneva.

Presentation title: Precarious mobilities - Labour migration, displacement and rural livelihoods among Syrian refugees in Mafraq, Jordan

Dr. Aitemad Muhanna-Matar is an assistant professorial research fellow at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is currently leading on a research project investigating the gender impact of Syrian displacement in Jordan and Turkey, funded by the LSE Institute of Global Affairs (IGA)–Rockefeller.

Presentation title: Beyond the binary understanding of masculinities: Displaced Syrian refugee men with disability and chronic sickness in Jordan

Dr. Sarah Tobin’s work explores transformations in religious and economic life, identity construction, and personal piety in Jordan, including Syrian refugee camps. She is the author of  Everyday Piety: Islam and Economy in Jordan (Cornell UP, 2016).


9:15 – 9:45: coffee and arrival

9:45-10:00: welcome and foreword

10:00 – 11:30: Panel 1

Aisha Hutchinson and Dina Zbeidy

Discussant: Sarah Tobin

11:30 – 12:00: Break

12:00 – 13:30: Panel 2

Emilie Lund-Mortensen and Michelle Lokot

Discussant: Aitemad Muhanna-Matar

13:30 – 15:00: Lunch

15:00 – 16:30: Panel 3

Ayham Dalal and Ann-Christian Wagner

Discussant: Sarah Tobin

16:30 – 16:45: Break

16:45 – 17:45: Presentation Aitemad Muhanna-Matar

Location and registration

Roeterseiland Campus, University of Amsterdam

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018WV Amsterdam

Building B, Room B5.12

Registration (required): displacement.sym@gmail.com

Attendance is free. Please register before Sunday 11 March.
Lunch will be provided. 

This event is made possible by the ERC-funded research project: ‘Problematizing “Muslim Marriages”: Ambiguities and Contestations’ (Grant number: 2013-AdG-324180)