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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2015  /  January 2015  /  South-South Migration and Humanitarianism

South-South Migration and Humanitarianism

New book from Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

South-South Migration and Humanitarianism

This month sees the publication of a new book by Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh which examines the important phenomenon of South-South educational migration for refugees.

South–South Educational Migration, Humanitarianism and Development: Views from the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East focuses particularly on South-South scholarship programmes in Cuba and Libya. These have granted free education to children, adolescents and young adults from two of the world’s most protracted refugee situations: Sahrawis (western Sahara) and Palestinians.

In-depth, multi-sited fieldwork was conducted with and about Sahrawi and Palestinian refugee students in Cuba and Libya. The research followed their return to the desert-based Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria and the urban Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. It brings refugees’ views and voices to the forefront and sheds unique light on their understandings of self-sufficiency, humanitarianism and hospitality.

The book also assesses the impact of various policies designed to maximise self-sufficiency and reduce both the brain drain and ongoing dependency upon Northern aid providers. It explores the extent to which South-South scholarship systems challenge the power imbalances that typically characterise North to South development models.

The study is particularly timely in discussing the impact of the Arab Spring on Libya’s support for Sahrawi and Palestinian refugees. It also considers the changing nature of Cuba’s educational model in light of continuing political, ideological and economic changes in the island state, asking whether there is a future for such alternative programmes and initiatives.



Sahrawi Camps

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Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh