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The Paradox of Refugee Policies in the Middle East

KAS/Nahrain policy paper on the legal status of refugees in the Arab world
Currently, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq are among the countries that host the largest refugee populations in the world. However, Egypt and Yemen are the only Arab states that have signed the Geneva Convention of 1951 on the status of refugees. In her guest contribution published in November 2016 by KAS and the Al-Nahrain Center in Baghdad, Laura el Chemali looks at this paradox by comparing the legal status of refugees in different countries of the Arab region, and the consequences that this status – or the lack thereof – entails for their daily lives.

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Preserving a History of Diversity in Times of Conflict

KAS and Sharq collect oral histories of Syrian refugees in Lebanon
As the concern for the basic needs dominates the life of the millions of Syrian refugees that have left Syria since the beginning of the war, the preservation of identity, traditions and history are often overlooked when survival and finding safety become a priority. A project funded by the KAS Syria/Iraq office and implemented by Sharq for Citizen Development aims to gather, collect, present and thus preserve the stories of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The project started in January 2016 and its results will be presented at the beginning of 2017.

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US Foreign Policy in the Middle East after Trump's Election

Donald Trump's election as the new US President could fundamentally alter US foreign policy in the Middle East. In a policy paper published in October 2016 by the KAS Syria/Iraq Office and Maison du Futur, Charles Dunne of the Middle East Institute argues that the future policies of President Trump towards the region are still alarmingly unclear, but might have devastating consequences for the countries like Syria and Iraq.

Country Reports

Sinjar, Two Years after the Catastrophe

by Nils Wörmer, Laura Henselmann

Two years after the massacres committed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against the Yezidis, the situation in their home region of Sinjar has not improved significantly.

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KAS and Iraqi al-Nahrain Center in Baghdad deepen partnership

by Nils Wörmer, Lucas Lamberty

Increased cooperation on research, conferences and publications
The KAS Syria/Iraq office and the prestigious al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies, an Iraqi think tank affiliated with the National Security Council, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to deepen their partnership. The MoU includes a commitment to frequent cooperation on research, conferences and publications.

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Fighting the Symptoms: Why there is a long way to defeat the so-called IS

Article by the Syria/Iraq office on the fight against the Islamic State
The so-called Islamic State (IS) has come under pressure on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. However, the offensives for the reconquest of IS strongholds have proven difficult. Instead, IS has been able to establish itself in various countries in the region and the threat of terrorist attacks in Europe remains high. The international community is fighting the symptoms of IS. Meanwhile, the reasons and causes of the rapid rise to power of the terrorist organisation persist.

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“Messages for Our Rights”

Refugee youngsters in Lebanon discuss their rights and record eight video-clips
Many Syrian children are living as refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq - often without access to education and under dire conditions. With support from the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, the Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts/Al-Jana conducted the seven-month “Messages for Our Rights” project in 2015 that aims to mobilize Syrian and Palestinian-Syrian refugee youngsters in Lebanon and to provide them with a venue to voice their rights.

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Keeping Pace with Lebanon’s challenging ‘Syrian’ question

Improving ties between the Lebanese society and Syrian refugees
More than one million Syrian refugees currently live in Lebanon. With a population of just four million Lebanese, the influx of Syrians challenges the delicate balance of the Lebanese society. To strengthen communication between Lebanese and Syrians during the most trying period of their shared history, Hayya Bina supported by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation undertook the project “Keeping Pace with Lebanon’s Challenging ‘Syrian’ Question” from September to December 2015.

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Situation.Report // Middle East

At the source of the refugee flows
The first episode of our new report series “Lage.Bericht“ shows how precarious the situation for the local people is, but that there is still reason for hope.
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