Courses: CMRS Summer Short Courses, American University in Cairo

Center for Migration and Refugee Studies
Summer Short Courses May 24th  – June 11th, 2015

The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) at The American University in Cairo (AUC) is offering the following three short courses during the month of May and June 2015:

1.       Displaced by Armed Conflict: Protection under International Law (May 24  – 28, 2015)
2.       International Refugee Law (May 31 – June 4, 2015)
3.       Diaspora and transnationalism  (June 7 – 11, 2015)

1. Eligibility for all courses:

Requirements: These courses are offered for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and researchers as well as practitioners working with migrants and refugees. A minimum knowledge of displacement and migration terminologies and context is a requirement for participation in any of the three courses.

All courses are conducted in English and no translation facilities are provided.  Participants should have a sufficient command of the English language. Each course will run from 9 am till 5pm for five days.

Interested applicants can apply for one course or for all the three courses.

Number of Participants: minimum of 12 in each course

NB: Non- Egyptian applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early in order to have enough time to obtain their visa.

2. Dates and Location

CMRS courses will take place between Sunday 24th of May and 11th of June at the AUC Tahrir Campus in Downtown Cairo. The exact location and room numbers will be forwarded to accepted participants before the start of the courses.

3. Courses’ Descriptions

3.1 Displaced by Armed Conflict: Protection under International Law (May 24 – 28, 2015)

This course provides an introduction to the international legal framework protecting those displaced by armed conflict. It is useful to post-graduate students and those working in international, national and non-governmental organizations that engage with internationally displaced persons, particularly those working with situations of mass displacement. Through lectures, case studies, and discussions, this one-week intensive course introduces the different areas of international law that govern conflict-induced displacement. Questions explored include: How does international humanitarian law, especially the four Geneva Conventions and their Protocols, protect displaced peoples? How does international humanitarian law intersect with international refugee law and international human rights law? What are temporary or complementary protection regimes? What are the protection gaps faced by those displaced by armed conflict? How have states and international organizations such as UNHCR and ICRC adapted to manage these gaps? These questions are explored through case studies from the Arab region, including displacement from Palestine, Iraq and Syria. A background in law is useful but not required for participation.

About the Instructors: Jasmine Moussa (PhD, LLM, MA, BA, LLB) is assistant professor of law at the American University in Cairo (AUC), where she teaches public international law and the law of armed conflict and the use of force. Before joining AUC, Dr. Moussa completed her PhD in Law at the University of Cambridge (2014). Her recent research projects focused on the relationship between international humanitarian law and the law on the use of force, as well as the development of the theory and practice of humanitarianism in the Arab region. She has also worked on legal affairs and human rights affairs at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other engagements include providing legal advise to several international non-governmental organizations and think tanks.

Usha Natarajan (PhD, MA, LLB, BA) is assistant professor of international law at the Department of Law and the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies in the American University in Cairo. Her research is multidisciplinary, utilizing third world and postcolonial approaches to international law to provide an interrelated understanding of the relationship between international law and issues of development, migration, environment and conflict. Dr Natarajan explores the interplay of these issues globally and in the Arab region, with a particular focus on Iraq as well as the ongoing Arab uprisings. Prior to joining AUC in 2010, she served as Legal Research Fellow for Human Rights and Poverty Eradication at the Center for International Sustainable Development Law at McGill University, and taught international law at the Australian National University. She has worked with various international organizations including UNDP, UNESCO and the World Bank on law reform initiatives in Asia, including Indonesia during its democratic transition, and in post-independence Timor-Leste.

3.2 International Refugee Law (May 31 – June 4, 2015)

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.

About the Instructor: 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 and migration policy. Most recently, as a consultant with the Global Detention Project, she researches the issue of migration-related detention in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.  Her previous experience also includes serving as a consultant with the UNHCR in the Zaaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, and with the UNHCR office in Moscow.  Prior to that, as a consultant for Human Rights First, she conducted extensive 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.

3.3 Diaspora and transnationalism (June 7 – 11, 2015)

The concepts of Diaspora and transnationalism both refer to cross-border processes and are becoming increasingly prominent to understand patterns in international migrations, the meaning of State borders, identities constructions and socio-economic relationships. The aim of the course is to define those processes, looking at Diasporic groups and their relationship to both host countries and (real or perceived) homeland, as well as analyzing the social formations and transformations induced by transnationalism. Following the review of theoretical literature, we will focus on the methods used to study Diasporic communities and transnationalism and engage in a series of case studies.

About the instructor: Alexandra Parrs is a sociologist and she teaches at the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies. She has taught graduates courses on integration, citizenship transnationalism, migration and international relations. She received her doctorate in sociology in 2009. She has taught in the US, Oman, Burma and Egypt. Her areas of research are migrations, ethnic minorities, integration, transnationalism, and gender. She is currently working on a book on Egyptian Gypsies.

Deadlines for submitting application for all courses are:

·         24th of April, 2015
·         Deadline for paying course deposit (30% of the course’s fee- 150$) is 3rd of May, 2015

Application Information:

To apply for the courses:

1. Fill out the application form. The form is available on CMRS website:

2. Send the application form to with your most recent CV; Att. Ms. Naseem Hashim

Applicants may apply to and be accepted in more than one course. Please do not hesitate to contact 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.

Fees and Scholarship:

The fee for each course is $ 500. Participants are expected to pay a 30% of the total fees ($150) as a deposit. Please pay attention to the deposit deadline 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. All participants are kindly requested to secure their visa and organise and cover expenses for their travel to and from Egypt, as well as their accommodation and local transportation in Egypt.

Independent researchers and students can apply for the limited number of scholarships. Scholarships are not intended for participants who can be funded by their own institutions.

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