Finished Summary Workshop “Connectivities of Refugees in the Civil War” (Nov. 29)


Category: Workshop

Research Group: A03 Migrants & RefugeesB03 Peace Building

The workshop “Connectivities of refugees in the civil war” will be jointly organized by Group A03“Migrants, Refugees, and Community Building” and Group B03 “Trust and Peace Building in Conflict Affected Areas.”
This workshop invites Ms. Marie SATO, Assistant Professor of ASAFAS, Kyoto University as a speaker.

Workshop “Connectivities of Refugees in the Civil War”

Date: Monday, November 29, 2021, 17:00-19:00

Presentation: Marie Sato (ASAFAS, Kyoto University)
“Connectivities formed through humanitarian aid in the Syrian civil war
     : The activities of Syrian diaspora organizations”

Discussant: Yuko Tobinai (Morioka University, B03 Co-investigator)
Moderator: Hidemitsu Kuroki(ILCAA, A03 Principal Investigator/Area Organizer)

Language: Japanese
Venue: Open to the public/Admission free, Online via zoom (Pre-registration required)

Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A)
“Migrants, Refugees, and Community Building” (Principal Investigator: Hidemitsu KUROKI (ILCAA) Project Number: 20H05826)
“Trust and Peace Building in Conflict Affected Areas” (Principal Investigator: Masako ISHII(Rikkyo University), Project Number: 20H05829 )

Erina Ota-Tsukada e.otatsukada[at]


In this workshop, I discussed the process and characteristics of organizations formed by Syrians (refugees) that have newly emerged during the Syrian civil war, and reported on how these organizations are developing support for their fellow citizens through building connectivity by coordinating and collaborating with multiple sectors, based on a survey conducted in the summer of 2018. It presents these organizations as Syrian Diaspora Organizations (Syrian DOs) and focuses on their activities that originate in Turkey and cross the border into Syria. Most of the Syrian DOs are citizens who have no previous experience in NGO activities, although their backgrounds vary, they form DOs under the strong national solidarity among their compatriots. In addition, they have been working more closely with the UN and international NGOs, which require adherence to humanitarian principles and neutrality, and tend to contain their political orientation. In aiding, trust was built with local representatives and elders in northern Syria. Their activities are not only food and supplies provision, but also establishment of sewage systems, housing, education system and so on. These activities remind us of the strong will of the Syrian DOs to play a role in rebuilding their homeland. The commentator pointed that it showed a new aspect to the issues of the A03 and B03 research agenda and then asked how far the solidarity of Syrian compatriots is effective, the history of the Syrian DOs’ leaders, and the structure of the humanitarian assistance framework in northern Syria. From the floor, there was a discussion on the politicization of Syrian DOs, depending on the type of donor. In addition, a question was raised about the appropriateness of using the term “DOs” to refer to Syrian refugees, as they are still young and their identities have not yet been shaken.
(Marie Sato, uploaded on Dec. 10, 2021)

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