CCAS Associate Professor Rochelle Davis and Abbie Taylor, Research Associate at the Institute for the Study of International Migration, present their findings from recent interviews with Syrian refugees living in Jordan and Lebanon. In the report, “Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon: A Snapshot from Summer 2013,” Rochelle Davis, Associate Professor with the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) and Abbie Taylor, Research Associate at the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) at Georgetown University, present the results of a month-long research trip to Jordan and Lebanon.
The research, designed to be ethnographic and outside of the capital cities, emphasizes two obvious but often overlooked human elements of the crisis: the impact of the Syrian presence in villages, towns, and cities on the host populations of Jordan and Lebanon; and refugees’ perceptions of their future, the prospect of return, and their role in rebuilding their country.
As the number of Syrians displaced outside Syria exceeds two million, and a protracted emergency situation continues well into its third year, this report points out a number of salient issues that should be further addressed by those concerned with Syrian refugees and their impact on neighboring host countries. Forthcoming publications will focus more on refugees’ visions of the future and return, based partly on some 130 in-depth interviews by 26 volunteer researchers from refugee and local populations in Jordan and Lebanon.
With over 100,000 deaths and millions more affected by war, there can be no mistake that the world is failing Syrians. The report underlines that the only lasting solution to such large-scale displacement, like previous displacement crises in the region, is a durable political solution to end the violence and insecurity inside Syria. In the meantime, donors, governments, and local and international humanitarian and development actors must work with refugees and host communities to formulate locally crafted interim solutions that not only alleviate suffering but allow for lives of individuals to continue with the dignity they so deserve.
The research was funded by Georgetown’s Global Human Development Initiative.