Daily Archives: Sunday, May 18, 2014

CMRB Event: The Sexual Lives of Borderlanders – Hijras on the Bangladesh-India Border

CMRB(The Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging)

at the University of East London is pleased to announce as part of its

Borders and Bordering Seminar Series:

The Sexual Lives of Borderlanders – Hijras on the Bangladesh-India Border

Dr. Delwar Hussain

(University of Edinburgh)

This seminar will take place in

EB.G.18, Docklands Campus, University of East London, E16 2RD, nearest tube: Cyprus DLR


4-6pm, Monday 19th May 2014

The event is free but spaces are limited so please reserve a place by following the below linkhttp://sexuallivesofborderlanders.eventbrite.co.uk

Abstract:Boropani is a coal-mining district situated on the Bangladesh-India Border. It is one of the largest land-ports between the two countries, dedicated exclusively to the import and export of coal. Amongst the thousands of seasonal, long and short term migrant workers to the area are hijras, traditionally known as the ‘third sex’. Members of the community travel from all across Bangladesh to participate in the coal trade. This paper looks at what draws the hijras here, to what is ostensibly a male-dominated industry. It presents an alternative argument to how hijras are presented in popular and established understandings and academic literature, placing them firmly within a larger political economy of cross border resource extraction and sociality.

Dr. Delwar Hussainis an anthropologist and the Crystal Macmillan Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. “Boundaries Undermined: The Ruins of Progress on the Bangladesh-India Border” (2013) is his first book. He is currently researching his second book, a social and cultural history of Dhaka

See www.euborderscapes.eu for more information on the EU Borderscapes project, www.uel.ac.uk/cmrb/borderscapes for details of the UEL Borderscapes team andwww.uel.ac.uk/cmrbfor information on CMRB


Courses: Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies summer short courses (reminder)


Summer Short Courses June 1 – 26, 2014

The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) at The American University in Cairo (AUC) is offering the following four short courses during the month of June 2014:

. International Refugee Law (June 1 – 5 , 2014)

. Protection Challenges among Vulnerable Migrants and Refugees in Transition Times: Egypt as a Case Study (June 8 – 12, 2014)

. Addressing Global Trends: Psychosocial and Mental Health Interventions for Refugees Living the Urban Context (June 15 – 19, 2014)

. Immigration Detention: Challenges of a Growing Trend (June 22 – 26, 2014)

1. Eligibility for all courses:

The courses are offered for graduate level students, researchers and practitioners in the field of migration and refugees. The maximum number of participants in each course is between 10 – 30. All courses are conducted in English and no translation facilities are provided. Participants should have a sufficient command of the English language.

Interested applicants can apply for one course or for all the four courses. Different deadlines are specified for each course as indicated below.
The fee for each course is $ 500. Tuition waiver options are offered only to qualified candidates from the developing countries. However, participants who get tuition waiver are responsible for the cost of their flight to and accommodation in Egypt.

Number of Participants: minimum of 10
NB: Non- Egyptian applicants are strongly encouraged to apply three weeks before the course start, in order to have enough time to obtain their visa.

2. Venue of the course: All courses will take place in the Tahrir Campus in Downtown Cairo. The exact location and room numbers will be forwarded to accepted participants before the start of the courses

3. Course Descriptions

. 3.1 International Refugee Law (June 1 – 5 , 2014)

Course Description: The course will provide post-graduate students, international agency staff, NGO workers, lawyers and others working with refugees or interested in refugee issues with an introduction to the international legal framework which governs the protection of refugees. Through lectures, case studies and small group discussions, course participants will learn about the basic features of international refugee law through the lens of the 1951 Refugee Convention, looking at the elements of the definition(s) of "refugee," who is excluded from the definition, the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the process by which refugee status is determined, the rights of refugees under international law, the ethical and professional obligations of those representing refugees, and other issues of refugee policy. A background in law is useful but not required.

Parastou Hassouri has previously taught international refugee law at the American University of Cairo and has extensive experience in the field of international refugee law and refugee and immigrant rights. She recently spent three months on a temporary contract with the UNHCR, as a Protection Officer in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. In the fall and winter of 2012, she served as a Consultant in the Resettlement Unit of the UNHCR office in Moscow. Her previous experience also includes research on the resettlement of Iraqi refugees out of the Middle East to third countries. She has worked as a Legal Advisor and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Focal Point at Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA) in Cairo. Her experience in the United States includes serving as an Attorney Advisor at the Immigration Courts of New York City and Los Angeles and working as an immigration attorney in private practice in New York City. In addition, she designed and directed the Immigrant Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, where she focused on responding to ethnic profiling and other forms of anti-immigrant backlash in the United States in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11.

Deadlines for submitting application for this course are:
* For participants who are self-sponsored, sponsored by other organization or their employers: 5th of May
* For Participants requesting tuition waiver: 10th of May
* Deadline for paying course deposit (30% of the course’s fee) is 10th of May

. 3.2 Protection Challenges among Vulnerable Migrants and Refugees in Transition Times: Egypt as a Case Study (une 8 – 12, 2014)

Three years after the beginning of the change wave that swept the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA), the outcome of the continuous political changes on the conditions of migrants and refugees in asylum countries remain ambivalent. On one hand, stakeholders and service providers were hopeful that political revivals and the moment of change would pave the road to provide a safe urban protection space through advocating for the rights of vulnerable non-national groups. On the other hand, the uncertainty of the political scene and the ambivalence of the political scene have exacerbated the vulnerability of migrants and refugees due to challenges such as lack of access to services, xenophobia and isolation in emergency times.

This course will unfold the meaning and factors of vulnerability in relation to the conditions of migrants and refugees by looking at the protection framework through which service providers and migrants operate in Egypt. It will focus on specific vulnerable groups among the communities of migrants and refugees in Egypt such as: Unaccompanied Minors, SGBV survivors, Victims of Trafficking, detainees and closed files. Using a variety of interactive methods including lectures, films, group work and site visits, the course will cover the main protection challenges faced by migrants and service providers catering to them alike in Egypt. At the end of the course, participants in groups will explore certain case studies of vulnerability and will come up with recommendations for a protection framework in light of the local context. To learn from best practices, during the course, participants will be required to give an individual presentation on their area of expertise related to the overall theme of the course. The course will also host practitioner representing service providers catering to migrants and refugees as well as community leaders and community-based organizations.

About the Instructor: Sara Sadek is a PhD Student at the Center for Applied Human Rights, at the Politics Department at the University of York, UK. She obtained her B.A in Political Science at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and her M.A in Refugee Studies at the University of East London (UEL), UK. She is currently a consultant in the field of migration and protection in Egypt and MENA region. She has lead and participated in a series of medium to large-scale needs assessments and research projects in the realm of protection and migration as a researcher and consultant for international organizations and academic institutions. To name a few: the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Save the Children (SC), Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA), Egyptian Foundation for Refugee Rights (EFRR), the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) at the American University in Cairo (AUC), University of East London, the French Institute for the Near East (IFPO), Duke University, and Center for Applied Human Rights at the University of York, UK. Research topics covered: trafficking and smuggling, mixed migratory flows, domestic labor, unaccompanied minors, survivors of Sexual and Gender-based Violence, Diaspora and transnational communities, child protection, livelihoods and socio-economic rights, citizenship, narratives of Iraqi and Syrian displacements, transitional justice and civil society groups. She has published widely on the topic of Iraqi displacement in MENA and urban refugees in Egypt. For the past few years, she has been engaged in a variety of initiatives and projects through providing trainings for government officials and civil society groups to bridge the gap between migrants and local communities.

Deadline for submitting applications to this course:
* For participants who are self-sponsored, sponsored by other organization or their employers: 10th of May
* For Participants requesting tuition waiver: 15th of May
* Deadline for paying course deposit (30% of the course’s fee) is 15th of May

. 3.3 Addressing Global Trends: Psychosocial and Mental Health Interventions for Refugees Living the Urban Context (June 15 – 19, 2014):

UNHCR identifies 10.5 million refugees under its care; with half living in urban centers and one-third in camps. The trend for urbanization is a global and a refugee trend. Though refugees move into exile in an acute situation, UNHCR reports that almost half of the refugees under its mandate have been under its care for at least 5 years. Trends show that four-fifths of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries. Across the world, there are also increasing numbers of countries hosting refugees in which the host populations and governments are hostile towards the refugees living there. Thereby, growing numbers of refugees are living for long periods of time in complicated urban centers. Additionally, the composition of urban refugee populations are reportedly changing from young men who may have been more capable to survive in the city to large numbers of women, children and older people. These trends challenge our capacity to offer mental health and psychosocial support to the most vulnerable.

During this course participants will:
1) Explore the range of mental health and psychosocial issues for refugees living in the urban context.
2) Review the recommendations for Best Practices outlined by the Inter Agency Standing Committee Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (2007) and the UNHCR policy on refugee protection and solutions in urban areas (2009).

3) Examine the multi-layered multidisciplinary range of interventions possible and practical for the urban context and compare them to the interventions often used in camp settings.

The course will encourage active participation and sharing of experiences of its students.

About the Instructor: Nancy Baron is the Director of the Psychosocial Services and Training Institute in Cairo and Global Psycho-Social Initiatives (GPSI). She received her Doctorate in Education at the University of Massachusetts, U.S.A. with a concentration in Family Therapy and Counseling Psychology. Since 1989, she has provided consultation, assessment, training, program design and development, research and evaluation for UN organizations and international and local NGOs in community and family focused psychosocial, mental health and peace building initiatives for conflict and post-conflict countries. She has lived and worked with emergency affected populations in the Middle East: Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Occupied Palestinian Territories; Jordan and Lebanon; in Africa: Burundi, Egypt, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda; in Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan and Sri Lanka; in Eastern Europe: Kosovo and Albania; in South America: Colombia; and in the South Pacific: Solomon Islands. Some of her related publications can be found on www.mhpss.net

Deadlines for submitting applications to this course:
* For participants who are self-sponsored, sponsored by other organization or their employers: 10th of May
* For Participants requesting tuition waiver: 15th of May .
* Deadline for paying course deposit (30% of the course’s fee) is 15th of May

. 3.4 Immigration Detention: Challenges of a Growing Trend (June 22 – 26 , 2014)

Immigration detention is a practice increasingly used by States to penalize or criminalize migration and/or asylum-seeking globally, in spite of the fact that it contradicts international human rights law principles and is viewed as "inherently undesirable." This course will familiarize students with the legal frameworks that define the standards of practice surrounding immigration detention. It will compare and contrast these standards with the practice of immigration detention across the MENA region and Europe. Based on human rights standards, this course will also examine alternatives to detention, which gain preference from advocates and scholars. From a regional international perspective, this course will investigate what remedies, legal or non-legal, are available to individuals through various existing mechanisms. The overarching themes explored in this course will be the role that social constructions of race and class play in how immigration and crime are viewed, questioning the increasing criminalization of migration in public policy.

The course is co-instructed by Parastou Hassouri and Dalia Malak

Parastou Hassouri (See bio above)

Dalia Malek is a PhD candidate in the Department of Law at King’s College London. Her research interests lie in refugee law, international human rights law, humanitarian law, and the African regional system of international law. Her doctoral research focuses on the availability of individual complaints mechanisms to refugees, the exhaustion of local remedies in host countries, immigration detention practices, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. She has conducted fieldwork in various parts of Egypt to serve as an empirical case study for her research. She received a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law and a graduate diploma in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies from the American University in Cairo, and she completed her bachelor’s degree in English and linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. She has presented her research in several conferences and moderated discussions in workshops and roundtables in the US, UK, Ireland, and MENA, and has worked in various capacities at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Cairo, and as a legal adviser at Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance. She is currently a Human Rights and Migration editor on the King’s Student Law Review.

Deadlines for submitting applications for this course:
* For participants who are self-sponsored, sponsored by other organization or their employers: 5th of May
* For Participants requesting tuition waiver: 12th of May
* Deadline for paying course deposit (30% of the total course’s fee) is 12th of May

Application procedure for all courses:

To apply for the courses:
1. Fill out the application form on CMRS website: http://www.aucegypt.edu/GAPP/cmrs/outreach/Pages/ShortCourses.aspx
2. Send the application to cmrscourses with your most recent C.V; Att. Ms. Naseem Hashim

Applicants may apply and be accepted to more than one course. Please do not hesitate to contact cmrscourses if you have any difficulty with the application process.

Applicants accepted for the course will be notified by email within a week after the deadline for submitting the application.

Participants are expected to pay a 30% of the total fees ($150) as a deposit Please pay attention to the deposit deadline for each course and kindly note that the deposit is non-refundable.

More information on payment method will be provided to accepted participants

Tuition fees will cover course material and two coffee breaks per course day.

Accommodation costs for those interested in staying at the recommended hotel will be announced shortly. Any other expenses are not included.


Representations, Uprisings and Violence: Vignettes from Turkey and Greece

Representations, Uprisings and Violence: Vignettes from Turkey and Greece

Wednesday 21 May 2014, 4-7pm
University of East London, Docklands campus

This evening brings together documentary film and testimonial performance in an event that stages (or projects) the underlying tensions between popular uprisings and political responses. The two contributions to the event aim to unpack the relationship between the politics of representations and the mediation of conflict and violence. Some of the concerns explored are:

· The politics of representation and the limits of representative democracy
· Art as a political response to dominant representations
· Protest, violence and representation

With solidarity and struggle as the central motifs the event considers both form and content as the site of contestation.


4pm Welcome and Introductions
Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis, Director of the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, UEL.
4.15 – 6pm ‘Mediating Gezi: Film and discussion’
Dr. Alisa Lebow, University of Sussex.
Discussant: Dr. Cigdem Esin, Centre of Narrative Research, UEL.
6.15 – 6.45 ‘Virtues of Violence: Performance Lecture’
Dr. Myrto Tsilimpounidi, UEL & Aylwyn Walsh, University of Lincoln
6.45-7.15 Short discussion

This event is supported by the following UEL research centres:

The Centre for research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging
The Centre of Narrative Research
The Centre for Social Justice and Change

Representations Uprisings & Violence .pdf

UEL researchers join renowned Muslim scholar on Journey into Europe

UEL Research, Innovation and Impact

Akbar S. Ahmed 100 x 100 Researchers from the University of East London (UEL) have teamed up with internationally renowned scholar and diplomat Professor Akbar S. Ahmed, to assist with the British leg of his European tour examining the relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims.

The collaboration aims to shed new light on the actual state of relations between Muslims and the West and takes place during a period of increased suspicion and mutual misunderstanding. Read more.

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Is UKIP the only game in town?

Postcards from ...

Not sure if it is just me but I have the impression that UKIP is the only one really campaigning for the forthcoming EU election. I can explain this to myself using three lines of reasoning: a) the economic one, i.e. they are the only party that can afford large billboards like this one;

UKIP billboard, Oxford 2014 UKIP billboard, Oxford 2014

b) the political/tactical one, i.e. they are the only one that can win the election in the UK so better saving money for the ‘real’ election in 2015, plus if it looks like one is not even campaigning, then he/she can’t be blamed for losing the election (especially if one happens to be a particularly weak political leader); c) the Political/strategic one, i.e. a part from UKIP, the other parties have nothing to say about the EU (except that it’s good for the economy) and that ultimately even if they had their…

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