Opening the Debate on the Right of Return

by Sari Hanafi
published in MER222

A decade after Oslo, Palestinian negotiators have reached an impasse in the debate concerning refugee return. The discussion should be opened to creative ideas beyond the sacred positions. New ideas, even those that won’t work, can shake loose new possibilities.

Two Miles into Limbo

Displaced Sudanese in a Cairo Slum

by Pascale Ghazaleh
published in MER225

As many as five million Sudanese displaced by the country’s 19-year civil war live in Egypt, many on the urban margins of Cairo. Mostly poor and unemployed, the Sudanese displaced get by in an environment where no one -- the Egyptian government, civil society or the UN -- seems willing or able to help them.

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Solutions Not Imminent for Afghan Displaced and Refugees

by Hiram Ruiz | published December 4, 2001

The collapse of the Taliban in northern and western Afghanistan in November was good news for aid workers seeking to get food and other necessities to war- and drought-affected Afghans. Expectations of greater security, of an end to US bombing in many areas and the opening of new supply routes from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Iran suggested the possibility of reaching many more needy Afghans than previously thought likely.

Lurking Insecurity

Squatters in Khartoum

by Anthony Shadid
published in MER216

Black clouds off the Nile River hang low over Mandela Camp, ushering in the storms that bring misery to an already wretched existence on the outskirts of Sudan’s capital. The clouds soon open up over the sprawling squatter settlement, and the rain begins its relentless fall. Barnaba Marial Marol, his cheeks hollow with hunger and his eyes heavy with sorrow, begins his story.

The Forgotten Refugees of Balochistan

by Stephen Dedalus
published in MER244

While the US “war on terror” in Afghanistan and areas in bordering Pakistan occupies the imagination of millions in the West, the simmering conflict in the Pakistani province of Balochistan (Baluchistan) an its disastrous effects on the civilian population evade the radar of popular media. In 2005, when Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, threatened Baloch insurgents with such violence that “you won’t even know what hit you,” hardly anyone outside Pakistan noticed. Soon, the Pakistani military launched a “shock and awe” campaign, involving helicopter gunships, fighter jets, heavy artillery and machine guns, against Baloch nationalists demanding greater political autonomy from the federal government.

A Different Kind of Memory

An Interview with Zochrot

by Meera Shah
published in MER244

“Who is trying to change the names of Haifa streets to the street names in the period prior to the War of Independence?” This question led an article in the December 15, 2004 edition of the Israeli daily Ma’ariv. Someone -- “people from outside,” said the mayor -- had placed signs in Arabic that labeled major thoroughfares as they had been known prior to the expulsion of many of the city’s Palestinians, and the incorporation of Haifa into the nascent state of Israel, during the war of 1948.

Jordan's Unwelcome "Guests"

by Stefanie Nanes
published in MER244

Ask any Jordanian in Amman about Iraqis in their country, and they will immediately tell you that Iraqis have driven up the prices of virtually everything in the capital. Apartments cost double what they did five years ago. The prices of food and gasoline have soared. Iraqis arrive with suitcases full of cash, drive around in expensive cars and make life much more difficult for Jordanians—or such is the widespread belief.

The Politics of Refugee Advocacy and Humanitarian Assistance

by Kathryn Libal , Scott Harding
published in MER244

Despite advance warnings of entrenched conflict and the displacement of tens of thousands of people, in 2003 the Bush administration embarked on a regime-changing war in Iraq with little consideration of the human costs. The Iraq war has created a flow of forced migrants, both within and across national borders, numbering around four million people, or approximately 15 percent of Iraq’s population. This ongoing forced migration dwarfs original expectations among humanitarian organizations and is considered the largest forced migration in the region since the Palestinian diaspora of 1948.