The Syrian Diaspora in the Aftermath of 2011

The 2011 uprising in Syria resulted in the forced displacement of several millions of Syrians with families and Syrian capital to settle temporarily in neighbouring countries and in other continents, greatly increasing the size of the Syrian diaspora historically known for its economic dynamism.

During the years of conflict, the Syrian diaspora mobilized in exile and in support of those who remained inside Syria. Notwithstanding administrative constraints, these solidarity networks have been remarkably organized, although new lines of cleavage emerged.

What do the forms of solidarity observed within the Syrian diaspora tell us about today's diasporic modes of organization? In what ways can the experiences of other diasporas in the region (Lebanese, Armenian, Palestinian) inform the Syrian diaspora and who are the key actors seeking to organize it?

This workshop was organized by the Arab Reform Initiative in collaboration with the Chair of History of the Contemporary Arab World at College de France. It brought together researchers from various backgrounds, who presented the outcomes of field-informed studies on the economic and social dynamics of the Syrian diaspora. These original studies bring a wealth of information and analysis to the broader debates on the future of societies in migration.

* The research papers will be made available on ARI website soon.

The research and workshop were supported by Ford Foundation and the Asfari Foundation.

Address : Chaire Histoire du Monde Arabe Contemporain, Collège de France, 4ème étage

3 rue d’Ulm, 7505 Paris

The programme: 

9h30 Registration, and coffee

9:45 – 10:00

Henry Laurens
Bassma Kodmani
Hana Jaber

10:00 - 10:45
Session I: Diasporas in the Region: A Comparative Perspective 
Moderator: Henry Laurens

10:00 - 10:15
Lebanese Communities Abroad: Feeding and Fueling conflicts

Tamirace Fakhoury

10:15 - 10:30 The Palestinian Diaspora and the State-Building Process

Taher Labadi

10:30 – 10:45 Discussion

10:45 -11:00 Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:00 Session II: Historic Syrian Diasporas Worldwide
Moderator: Bassma Kodmani 
11:00 - 11:15 Syrians in the USA: Solidarity Despite Political Rifts

Basma Alloush

11:15 - 11:30 Arabism and its Repercussions: Forms of Solidarity among

Syrians in Latin America

Cecilia Baeza

11:30 - 11:45 Mapping the Syrian Civil Society Groups in Europe

Nora Ragab

11: 45 – 12:00 Discussion

12:00 -14:00 Lunch Break

14:00 -  15:00 Session III: Syrian Investments in the Turmoil of the Arab Uprisings

Moderator: Salam Kawakibi

14:00 – 14:15 Mapping Syrian Skills in the Gulf: The Case of Qatar

Khadr Zakaria

14:15 – 14:30 Gulf Countries as a Destination for Syrian Financial Capital:

The Case of the United Arab Emirates

Maher Juneidi

14: 30 -14 :45 Syrians in Egypt: Major Financial Investments in a Volatile


Firas Hajj Yehia

14:00 – 15:00 Discussion

15:00 - 16:00 Session IV: Refugee Flows and the New Syrian Diaspora in the Region
  Moderator: Nasser Djabi

16:00 – 16:15 Syrians in Turkey: Groupings, Fractures and a Floundering

Civil Society

Sasha AlAlou

16:15 – 16:30 Syrians in Lebanon: between Absence of Policy and Discouragement

Rayan Majed

16:30 – 16:45 Engaging Syrian Organizations on Durable Solutions: Sharing Experience from Jordan

Israa Sader

16 :45 – 17:00 Discussion

17:00 -17:15 Coffee break

17:15 -17: 45 Session V: Wrap-Up Session
Hana Jaber, Bassma Kodmani, Henry Laurens