Dawn Chatty is an American social anthropologist and academic, who specialises in the Middle East, nomadic pastoral tribes, and refugees. From 2010 to 2015, she was Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration at the University of Oxford. Her book ‘Syria: The Making and Unmaking of a Refuge State’ was published by Hurst & Co in 2018.
The mass influx of peoples into Syria over the last 150 years, including Circassians, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, Armenian, Albanians, Kosovars, created a modern nation of great cultural hybridity. Until recently this was the source of its openness to contemporary waves of forced migrants including Palestinians, Lebanese, and Iraqis. Now, with the tables turned, nearly 50 per cent of Syrians have sought refuge and sanctuary among its neighbouring states. This lecture examines the history of Syria – Bilad-al-Sham – in the late Ottoman Empire and since World War One as it welcomed refugees and other uprooted peoples from across the region.
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