There’s No Good News for Refugees in Lebanon

June 16, 2020

The Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon is just the latest in a sequence of disenfranchisements that have plagued the Middle East for generations. In 1948, just years after Lebanon was founded, the Palestinians were pushed out of their homeland by the Israelis and the Lebanese granted them refuge....

World Refugee Day Challenges Our Humanitarian Sensibilities

June 20, 2018

World Refugee Day should be an observance of communities that have opened their hearts and cities to those in need. While I have often expressed my thoughts about the Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon, even including the burdens carried by Jordan and Palestine, it is only a...

Protecting Refugee Rights: The Role of Religion

June 22, 2013

Religious teachings and practices cannot be ignored if we are to effectively protect the rights and wellbeing of refugees. During my time as country director for Muslim Aid in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, I dealt with refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing man-made and natural...

Life in the Kakuma Refugee Camp

June 22, 2013

Kenya's Kakuma camp has warehoused tens of thousands of refugees for decades. Each year, on June 20, the United Nations marks World Refugee Day; a time to recognize the contributions of refugees to their communities around the world.  Refugees are people who are forced to flee their home...

Afghan Refugees: A People Without Home

June 21, 2013

The imminent expulsion from Pakistan is threatening to push millions of Afghan refugees into deeper turmoil. In a little over a week, a population the size of Equatorial Guinea strewn in the shadow of Hindu Kush mountain range will be forced to move abode. The mass mobilization will see nearly...

Protracted Refugee Situations: Stuck in Limbo

June 20, 2013

Refugees are increasingly spending more than five years in exile. Host countries and the international community need to deal with the implications of this development. The question of how to treat people who have fled their homes has been around for quite some time. However, a fairly recent...

Registering Refugees: A Game of Numbers

June 20, 2013

The registration of refugees is designed to protect. But its system of conditional aid has distanced the concept of aid from its universal roots. Everyday hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are forced to flee their home countries in search of refuge. Leaving with little more than...

Kashmiri Pandits: The Forgotten Refugees

June 20, 2013

Kashmiri Pandits are refugees who have been subjected to genocide and ethnic cleansing but have been ignored by their own country. The Mughal Emperor Jahangir is purported to have said: “If there is heaven on earth, it is here, it is here.” For Kashmiri Pandits, the original inhabitants of...

Sri Lanka: The Uncertain Future for IDPs

June 20, 2013

Sri Lanka's internally displaced persons continue to face significant challenges for resettlement. In a previous piece for Fair Observer, I wrote about the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were victims of the Sri Lankan conflict at the hands of the LTTE, and who still remain...

Refugees and Borders

June 18, 2013

Refugees are created by untenable circumstances within boundaries formed by the West. Late last fall, I was sitting outside in our farm yard in Vermont, just south of the Canadian border. My wife and I were remarking on the influx of the Common Red Poll, a bird not often seen in such numbers where...

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