Elena  Fiddian-Qasmiyeh Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

Professor of Migration and Refugee Studies
University College London

Elena is Professor of Migration and Refugee Studies at University College London. Her research focuses on the experiences of and responses to conflict-induced displacement with a particular regional focus on the Middle East, and a particular interest in Southern and decolonial theories. She has conducted extensive research with Muslim asylum-seekers and refugees in refugee camps and urban areas including in Algeria, Cuba, Egypt, France, Lebanon, South Africa, Spain, Syria, Sweden, and the UK.

Biography

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh is Professor of Migration and Refugee Studies, Co-Director of the Migration Research Unit, and Director of the Refuge in a Moving World interdisciplinary research network at University College London (UCL). Her research examines experiences of and responses to conflict-induced displacement, with a particular regional focus on the Middle East. She has conducted extensive research in refugee camps and urban areas including in Algeria, Cuba, Egypt, France, Jordan, Lebanon, South Africa, Syria, Sweden, and the UK.

Elena is currently leading a number of major externally-funded research projects, including Refugee Hosts, a 4-year AHRC-ESRC funded project which is examining responses to displacement from Syria through research with and in 9 communities in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey (www.refugeehosts.org), and Southern Responses to Displacement: Views from the Middle East, a 5-year project funded by the European Research Council (www.southernresponses.org).

Elena’s recent publications include The Handbook of South-South Relations (co-editor, Routledge, 2018),  South-South Educational Migration, Humanitarianism and Development: Views from the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East, (Routledge, 2015), The Ideal Refugees: Gender, Islam and the Sahrawi Politics of Survival (Syracuse University Press, 2014) and The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, (co-editor, Oxford University Press, 2014). With Dr. Mette Berg of UCL-IOE, Elena is a Co-Founding Editor of the new journal, Migration and Society.

You can follow her and her research on @FiddianQasmiyeh, @RefugeeHosts and @SouthernResp, and via www.refugeehosts.org and www.southernresponses.org.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Forced Migration, Humanitarianism, Migration Studies, Religion and Migration, Gender, Islam, Middle Eastern Studies, South-South Cooperation, Southern, postcolonial and decolonial theories

Websites

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - South-South Migration and Development: Fiddian-Qasmiyeh - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

Journal of Refugee Studies

Local Faith Communities & the Promotion of Resilience in Humanitarian Crises


Published: Jun 14, 2015 by Journal of Refugee Studies
Authors: J. Ager, E. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and A. Ager
Subjects: Geography , Religion, Anthropology - Soc Sci

The potential role of local faith communities (LFCs) in promoting resilience in contexts of humanitarian crisis has, despite recent policy interest, been a neglected area of study. Analysis is structured with respect to three major humanitarian processes—disaster risk reduction; emergency response; and facilitating transitional and durable solutions—relevant to the promotion of resilience in populations that are displaced, at risk of displacement or refugee-impacted.

Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies

Embracing Transculturalism and Footnoting Islam… Arab Migration to Cuba


Published: Jan 13, 2015 by Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , History, Media and Cultural Studies, Religion, Sociology, Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Area Studies

This essay examines the implications of Ortiz's concept of transculturation in the postcolonial development of ‘Cuban national identity’. Despite official claims of post-revolutionary racial equality, Arab migration has been historically marginalized in accounts of the development of ‘Cuban identity’, with wide-ranging implications for our understanding of academic & political discourses about Cuban national identity.

The Journal of Intercultural Studies

Refugee and Diaspora Memories: The Politics of Remembering and Forgetting


Published: Nov 14, 2013 by The Journal of Intercultural Studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Thomas Lacroix
Subjects: Geography , History, Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Area Studies

his special issue opens up a conversation between three multidisciplinary fields: memory studies, diaspora studies and refugee studies. The introductory paper articulates an analytical framework addressing various forms of memories of displacement. It defines the concepts of exilic and diasporic memories with regard to the classical and post-modern conceptions of diasporas and shows, beyond their formal opposition, the extent to which these two notions interrelate.

The Journal of Intercultural Studies

The Inter-generational Politics of “Travelling Memories"


Published: Jun 14, 2013 by The Journal of Intercultural Studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , History, Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Area Studies

Drawing on primary research conducted with Sahrawi children and youth in the Sahrawi refugee camps, Cuba, Spain and Syria between 2001 and 2009, this article explores the Sahrawi politics of ‘travelling memories’, assessing how, why and to what effect memories of both the Western Saharan home-land and of the Algerian-based home-camps ‘travel’ between older and younger generations and across geographies in contexts of ongoing mobility.

Gender, Place and Culture

Transnational Abductions and Transnational Jurisdictions?


Published: Apr 14, 2013 by Gender, Place and Culture
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , Health and Social Care, Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci

This article examines evolving gendered protection narratives surrounding four ‘abduction’ cases in which Sahrawi refugee girls and young women living in Spain were ‘abducted’ by their birth-families and forcibly returned to the Algerian-based Sahrawi refugee camps between 2002 and 2009.

International Journal of Refugee Law

Invisible Refugees &/or Overlapping Refugeedom? Sahrawis & Palestinians in Libya


Published: Jun 14, 2012 by International Journal of Refugee Law
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci

This article examines the experiences of two North African and Middle Eastern refugee populations (Sahrawis and Palestinians) affected by the 2011 conflict in Libya who have remained largely invisible to the international community. The challenges that they have faced since the outbreak of violence in February 2011, and the nature of international responses to these challenges, highlight a range of interconnected issues on both conceptual and practical dimensions.

Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies

Transnational Childhood and Adolescence: Mobilising Sahrawi identity...


Published: Feb 14, 2012 by Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Area Studies

This paper proposes the importance of examining not only how and when diasporas are mobilized by political brokers, but also which members of diasporic populations are strategically engaged both according to their own characteristics (including their age) and the nature of their diasporic hosting context. It explores how Sahrawi refugee children and youth in the Algeria-based Sahrawi refugee camps, Cuba, Syria and in Spain have been mobilized by their political representatives (Polisario)...

Journal of Refugee Studies

Faith-Based Humanitarianism in Contexts of Forced Displacement


Published: Sep 14, 2011 by Journal of Refugee Studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , History, Religion, Health and Social Care, Anthropology - Soc Sci

The multiplicity of causal and experience-based linkages between forced migration and religion, faith and spirituality have been explored through a variety of lenses to date, and yet the extent to which religious identity, belief and practice may provide the underpinnings for humanitarian responses to forced migration, has largely remained under-studied....

Journal of Refugee Studies

The Pragmatics of Performance: Putting faith in aid in the Sahrawi refugee camps


Published: Sep 14, 2011 by Journal of Refugee Studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , Religion, Sociology, Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Area Studies

Since the 1970s, Sahrawi refugees have depended upon humanitarian assistance and political support offered by a variety of secular and faith-based non-governmental organizations. In this article I explore the ways in which Sahrawi refugees’ political representatives (the Polisario Front) have mobilized religiously-related claims to maximize diverse short- and long-term benefits both inside and outside the camps.

Comparative Education

Paradoxes of Refugees’ Educational Migration: Self-sufficiency or new dependency


Published: Jun 14, 2011 by Comparative Education
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Education, Geography , History, Sociology, Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Area Studies

This article explores the nature, motivations and implications of Sahrawi refugee youths' educational migration to Cuba through a scholarship programme designed to promote self-sufficiency and socio-economic development in the Sahrawi refugee camps. However, Sahrawi youths' educational migration to Cuba is ultimately paradoxical in nature, reshaping and reinforcing, rather than reducing, Sahrawi refugees' dependence upon Western aid providers.

Journal of North African Studies

Histories of Displacement: Intersections between ethnicity, gender and class


Published: Apr 14, 2011 by Journal of North African Studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , History, Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci

This article examines the Spanish–Sahrawi colonial encounter from the perspective of 41 Spaniards who lived and/or worked in the Spanish Sahara during the late-colonial era (1960s–1970s). An analysis of informants' experiences in the colony suggests the importance of a selection of social and spatial divisions that characterised life in the territory. With particular reference to ethnicity, gender and class...

Journal of Refugee Studies

Muslim Asylum-Seekers and Refugees from the Middle East and North Africa


Published: Jun 14, 2010 by Journal of Refugee Studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Yousif M. Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , Religion, Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci

This article explores the nature of changes in religious identity, identification and practice since interviewees applied for asylum in the UK. We also highlight the significance of a range of gendered factors and experiences, including childhood and growing up in the UK, effective masculinity and un/productive parenthood, in negotiating transformative political and legal realities.

Journal of North African Studies

Education, Migration & Internationalism: Situating Muslim MENA students in Cuba


Published: Jun 14, 2010 by Journal of North African Studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Yousif M. Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Education, Geography , Religion, Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Area Studies

This article examines Muslim youth experiences of, and Cuban motivations behind, an internationalist education programme marginalised by academics and policy-makers. Offering students a further education to enhance self-sustainability in their ‘home’ spaces, this programme is also a clear alternative, & even a challenge, to the way in which the education of foreign students is structured and managed by states and institutions driven by different socio-economic and political priorities.

Refugee Survey Quarterly

“Ideal” Refugee Women and Gender Equality Mainstreaming: Good Practice for Whom?


Published: Jun 14, 2010 by Refugee Survey Quarterly
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci

The National Union of Sahrawi Women has been depicted by the UN as an “ideal” partner given its success in empowering Sahrawi refugee women. I argue that such idealisations have led to projects in the camps that marginalize the needs and priorities of “non-ideal” women and girls with grave effects. This leads us to ask who benefits from assertions and categorizations of “good” and “bad” practice, and whose interests are advanced by discourses surrounding “gender equality”.

Journal of Refugee Studies

Representing Sahrawi Refugees’ ‘Educational Displacement’ to Cuba


Published: Sep 14, 2009 by Journal of Refugee Studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Education, Geography , Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci

Since the early 1980s Sahrawi refugee women and children have been invoked as active agents constructing and maintaining their camps. While their distinctive content could appear to offer a corrective to ‘universalizing representational practices’ (Malkki, 1995: 11), I argue that portrayals of Sahrawi refugee women and children are motivated by the same political and politicized priorities as those of ‘generic’, passive and victimized ‘womenandchildren’ (Enloe 1990, 1991).

Interventions: international journal of postcolonial studies

Relocating: The Asylum Experience in Cairo


Published: Jun 14, 2006 by Interventions: international journal of postcolonial studies
Authors: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Subjects: Geography , Middle East Studies, Anthropology - Soc Sci

This essay presents snapshots of refugees’ experiences of asylum in Cairo, where UNHCR undertakes refugee status determination. The essay documents the particular difficulties experienced by three groups of refugees in this city: survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, unaccompanied minors and young men at particular risk...far from encountering peace through asylum, they discover a site characterized both by new forms of violence and by repetitions of existing abuse.