Graphic by: Anna Rigamonti

Refugee Transfers in the Euro-Arab Mediterranean Zone: Tying the Past with the Present



10 - 12 April 2017, Byblos (Lebanon)


Migration is not a modern phenomenon. The Mediterranean region is characterized by migration flows from north to south and vice versa since antiquity. The area, which we consider today the Mediterranean, has benefited from a comprehensive exchange of knowledge between its northern and southern parts. It became an economical and scientific hub and grew to a driving force of development. Today, the perception of migration movements has changed largely; security aspects came to the fore rather than the opportunity for exchange.

The workshop aims to turn attention to the latter and focusses on the role of migrants and refugees as transmitters of knowledge and contributors to social and cultural development. In the focal point of the discussions are the potentials of migrants as actors of change. The participants inquire paradigms of 'de-securitization' that allows to approach displacement flows from a developmental and humanitarian perspective rather than from a mere security-based point of view.

By adopting a transhistorical approach, the discussions shed light on cultural, social, and political contributions of migrants in the Euro-Arab Mediterranean countries. The workshop brings together political scientists, sociologists, historians, and experts with interests in different periods and geopolitical regions within the framework of a broader Euro-Arab Mediterranean zone. It consists of several thematic sessions with interdisciplinary lectures on historic and contemporary processes of knowledge transfer by migrants:

  • Historical perspectives on refugee knowledge transfers.
  • Refugee movements in contemporary perspective: Contextualising and mapping their social, political, and economic contributions.
  • Cultural and epistemic perspectives on refugee knowledge transfers.
  • Tying challenges with new perspectives and opportunities: Success stories, drawbacks and policy reflections.

Keynote Lecture


The Current Displacement Crisis in Regional and International Perspectives

by Prof Ibrahim Awad (American University of Cairo)

10 April 2017, 6 pm, Venue: Lebanese American University, FREM 203-204, Byblos

The event is organized in cooperation with the Lebanese American University (LAU) and the Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg.

Members in Charge


Tamirace Fakhoury

is Assistant Professor in Political Sciences at the Lebanese American University and completing a research project on the modes of Arab diasporic mobilization with special focus on the 2011 uprisings at the GIGA Hamburg.

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Jenny Oesterle

is head of the Centre for Transcultural Studies at Heidelberg University. There, she leads the research group “Protection in Periods of Religious and Political Expansion”.

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