“The fault of our grandfathers”: Yemen's third-generation migrants seeking refuge from displacement

Nathalie Peutz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Djibouti's Markazi camp for refugees from Yemen between 2016 and 2018, this article examines the complex motivating factors that drove a subset of Yemenis to seek refuge in the Horn of Africa. Although the primary reason for their flight to the Horn of Africa was the ongoing war, a secondary but not inconsequential driver of many of these Yemeni refugees' current displacement was their family histories of transnational migrations and interethnic marriages. This article argues that, for this group, it was their “mixed” (muwallad) Arab and African parentage and resulting alienation in Yemen that made their flight imaginable-and, in their view, imperative. Although “mixed motive migration” is not unusual, this example underscores how spatial and social (im)mobilities in Yemen and the Horn of Africa region have been co-constituted across generations. More importantly, it has critical implications for the recently adopted Global Compact on Refugees, which promotes (among other solutions) the “local integration” of refugees in their proximate host societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-376
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Middle East Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Djibouti
  • Integration
  • Refugees
  • Social marginalization
  • Yemen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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