Courses: CMRS Winter Short Courses (January 24th – February 11th, 2016)

Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

Winter Short Courses January 24th  – February 11th, 2016

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 January and February 2016:

1.      Designing research with urban displaced populations in MENA region (Jan 24 – 28, 2016)

2.      International Refugee Law (Jan 31 – Feb 4  , 2016)

3.      Euro -Mediterranean Refugee and Migration Crisis: Origins, Effects, Responses (Feb 7 – 11, 2016)

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 January and 11th of February 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 Designing research with urban displaced populations in MENA region   (Jan 24 – 28, 2016)

This course is intended for practitioners from national governments, international inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), and national and inter-national non-governmental organizations (NGOs), working with migrants and refugees in urban settings. It is also for junior researchers, undergraduates and post-graduates in social sciences working on topics related to migrants and refugees.

The course will provide essential tools and techniques needed to conduct research and needs-assessments with displaced populations. It will help participants:

·   Identify the appropriate research methods for their target groups and subject matter.

·   Select the appropriate sample frame/s and sampling techniques.

·   Create research tools to reflect the aims and objectives of the research.

·   Consider the contextual limitations and challenges in conducting research with migrants and refugees.

·   Understand the ethical considerations vis-à-vis interaction with respondents.

The course will cover mixed research methods with an emphasis on qualitative techniques namely: Focus Group Discussions, Semi-Structured Interviews, in-depth interviews and ethnographies. It will lay out the pros and cons of the different methods and sampling techniques.   It will discuss in-depth the implications of reflexivity on the data collection, analysis and outcomes. It will also look at ethical considerations and challenges in conducting research with beneficiaries.

The course includes lectures and application of methods. Participants will be expected through a group project to apply one of the research methods through a practical exercise with refugee and migrant respondents in Egypt on a topic of interest.

Requirements: A minimum knowledge of displacement and migration terminologies is a requirement for the course participation. Knowledge of research is not required.

About the Instructor: Sara Sadek is a PhD Candidate 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) in 2003 and her M.A in Refugee Studies at the University of East London (UEL) in UK in 2007. She is currently a consultant and trainer 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 using quantitative and qualitative methods including:  large-scale surveys, focus group discussions, interviews and ethnographies.  She worked as a researcher and consultant for international organizations and academic institutions. To name a few: Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) at the American University in Cairo (AUC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Save the Children International (SC), Swiss Development Cooperation, the 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:  Libyan migrants, civil society-state relations, 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 displacements and transitional justice.

3.2 International Refugee Law (Jan 31 – Feb 4, 2016)

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, She has been serving as a consultant with the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Unit at the UNHCR office in Ankara, Turkey.  Her previous consultancies with the UNHCR have been at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan and the UNHCR office in Moscow.  Parastou has also done extensive research in the field of refugee and migration law.  As a researcher/consultant for the Geneva-based NGO Global Detention Project, she conducted research on the issue of the migration-related detention in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.  She also conducted research on the resettlement of Iraqi refugees out of the Middle East to third countries for the New York City-based NGO,  Human Rights First.  Her previous experience includes working 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 Euro -Mediterranean Refugee and Migration Crisis: Origins, Effects, Responses (Feb 7 – 11, 2016)

This short course analyzes the causes of the current refugee and migration crisis in the Euro-Mediterranean region, the manifestation and expression of the experience across the region, the ensuing consequences, and the range and effectiveness of law and policy responses. The course is useful for those working in international, national, and non-governmental organizations that engage with migration and asylum issues, particularly those working in the Euro-Mediterranean region, and to post-graduate students in migration and refugee studies, Middle East and Euro-Mediterranean studies, as well as in related fields. Through lectures, case studies, and discussions, this one-week intensive course provides a rigorous critical overview of the current migration and refugee crisis and its short and long-term regional implications. Questions explored include: What are the political, economic, environmental, social, and cultural drivers of the current migration? Issues considered include conflict, governance, human rights, underdevelopment, inequality, demography, labor markets, climate change, desertification, drought, religious and ethnic discrimination, and xenophobia. What are the projected trends in these areas? How effective are international and regional laws and policies in ensuring that migration and asylum processes are orderly and humane? Do laws and policies logically flow from what we know of the origins of this migration, the present reality, and projections for coming migrations? If not, what measures could move us towards greater effectiveness? These questions are explored through regional case studies, including migration from Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen; migration from the Horn of Africa and the Sahel transiting through North Africa and the Middle East towards Europe; intersection with ongoing migration from the Balkans and Eastern Europe; and responses in transit and destination states in North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. A background in international relations, political science, or international law is useful but not required for participation.

About the Instructors:

Ibrahim Awad is Professor of Global Affairs and Director of the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo. He has worked for the League of Arab States, the United Nations, and the International Labour Organization, holding positions of Secretary of the Commission, UN-ESCWA; Director, ILO Sub-regional Office for North Africa; and Director, ILO International Migration Programme. Dr Awad is a political scientist and political economist and his research interests and publications encompass international migration, employment, human and labour rights, development, politics and political transitions in the Middle East and North Africa, international relations, global governance and European integration.

Usha Natarajan is Assistant Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo. Her research and publications are 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. Prior to joining AUC in 2010, she worked with various international organizations including UNDP, UNESCO and the World Bank on law reform initiatives in Asia.

Deadlines for submitting application for all courses are:

·         15th of December, 2015

·         Deadline for paying course deposit (30% of the course’s fee- 150$) is 31st of December, 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 C.V; 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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