Introduction: Dawn Chatty and Bill Finlayson

Dawn Chatty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


Dispossession and displacement have always afflicted life in the modern history of the Middle East and North Africa. Waves of people have been displaced from their homeland as a result of conflicts and social illnesses. At the end of the nineteenth century, Circassian Muslims and Jewish groups were dispossessed of their homes and lands in Eurasia. This was followed by the displacement of the Armenians and Christian groups in the aftermath of the First World War. They were followed by Palestinians who fled from their homes in the struggle for control over Palestine after the Second World War. In recent times, almost 4 million Iraqis have left their country or have been internally displaced. And in the summer of 2006, Lebanese, Sudanese and Somali refugees fled to neighbouring countries in the hope of finding peace, security and sustainable livelihoods. With the increasing number of refugees, this book presents a discourse on displacement and dispossession. It examines the extent to which forced migration has come to define the feature of life in the Middle East and North Africa. It presents researches on the refugees, particularly on the internally displaced people of Iran and Afghanistan. The eleven chapters in this book deal with the themes of displacement, repatriation, identity in exile and refugee policy. They cover themes such as the future of the Turkish settlers in northern Cyprus; the Hazara migratory networks between Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and the Western countries; the internal displacement among Kurds in Iraq and Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; the Afghan refugee youth as a 'burnt generation' on their post-conflict return; Sahrawi identity in refugee camps; and the expression of the 'self' in poetry for Iran refugees and oral history for women Iraqi refugees in Jordan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDispossession and Displacement
Subtitle of host publicationForced Migration in the Middle East and North Africa
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191734397
ISBN (Print)9780197264591
StatePublished - Aug 5 2010


  • Displacement
  • Dispossession
  • Forced migration
  • Identity in exile
  • Internally displaced people
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • Refugees
  • Repatriation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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