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Itineraries of Palestinian Refugees. Kinship as Resource in Emigration.


This paper aims to analyse how Palestinian refugees, deprived of passport and financial resources, have managed to leave their country of residence and enter Western Europe. One of the key hypotheses could be the following: Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have reconstructed in the refugee camps and in the informal gatherings systems of solidarity based kinship and local networks. These networks, developed at a local level, have been turned into transnational networks of solidarity by migrant communities, building bridges between Palestinians in Lebanon and migrants abroad. The resources such as money, information on the destination country, legal constraints or opportunities, circulate through these networks, linking potential migrants to Palestinians settled in Europe. It facilitates their mobility, in a context of high legal constraints in Europe, and lack of financial resources in Lebanon. Because of house destruction, insecurity and joblessness, however, illegal migration from Lebanon to Europe began in spite of legal barriers. Palestinians had to organise themselves to get round those difficulties. They used their transnational resources, such as their close contacts with the Palestinian communities living abroad and the migratory networks they constructed in the eighties, to facilitate their emigration. Transnationalism developed by Palestinian refugees has to be considered mainly as a strategy to escape a highly restrictive regional environment, and more specifically in Lebanon. Migratory networks, based on family, are also one of the only resource accessible to return migrants who where forced to leave Iraq and come back to Lebanon without any international assistance.
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halshs-00342285 , version 1 (28-11-2008)


  • HAL Id : halshs-00342285 , version 1


Mohamed Kamel Doraï. Itineraries of Palestinian Refugees. Kinship as Resource in Emigration.. Sari Hanafi. Crossing Borders, Shifting Boundaries. Palestinian Dilemnas., The American University in Cairo Press, pp.85-104, 2008, Cairo Papers in Social Science, Vol. 29, n°1. ⟨halshs-00342285⟩
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