The New Syrian Diaspora: From Basic Survival Struggles to Aspirations of Success and Integration - Auslandsbüro Libanon
March 2023 marks the 12th anniversary of the Syrian uprising which morphed into a multilayered conflict that has triggered one of the largest humanitarian disasters in modern times. While the war itself appears to be frozen, the suffering of Syrians has not ceased.
About seven million Syrians, roughly one-third of the prewar population, have been forced to leave the country since 2011. The bulk of them, about 5.5 million, are in neighboring states.
Countries like Lebanon and Turkey still operate under the assumption that Syrians will return to Syria soon. The result is that many Syrians in these countries are in a state of limbo unable to lead meaningful lives.
Europe hosts about 1 million Syrian refugees, about 59 percent of them (590,000) are in Germany alone and there are critical questions for which there are no answers yet: have most Germans reconciled themselves to the idea that many Syrians will end up staying in the country and become citizens and what’s being done to come up with the right integration policies that will foster acceptance by Germans while also ensuring that Syrians are not isolated in parallel societies?
In the U.S., barely 33,000 Syrians have been resettled or granted asylum since the start of the 2011 raising big questions about equity and fairness in the country’s immigration and refugee resettlement system. While most of the Syrians that made it to the U.S. have thrived and are already contributing to U.S. society and economy, some have called the U.S. stance on Syrian refugees a “moral failure.”
There are glaring disparities in the trajectories of Syrians depending on which country they ended up in underscoring the urgent need for more international coordination in addressing a refugee and displacement crisis that is far from being resolved.