The Displacement of Religious Authorities from Syria and their Involvement in Aid Provision: Looking beyond Humanitarianism

Science Building 608, Byblos campus & Irwin Hall A, Beirut campus via videoconferencing

The Institute for Social Justice and Conflict Resolution (ISJCR) and the Department of Social Sciences (DSS) at LAU are hosting a research seminar on “The Displacement of Religious Authorities from Syria and their Involvement in Aid Provision: Looking beyond Humanitarianism” with Dr. Estella Carpi, research fellow, University College London.

Abstract of the Talk

The longstanding Syrian conflict has displaced nearly 7 million people inside the country, and more than 5 million have fled the country as refugees. Among the latter, religious authorities – rijal ad-din - from different communities have relocated to the neighboring countries, namely Jordan, Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan and Lebanon. In this framework, the general de-historicization and de-subjectification that the refugee population typically undergoes in media and humanitarian narratives have often removed people’s intimate and professional past, overshadowing the peculiar experience of religious authorities. In her talk, Dr. Carpi firstly aims to map a geography of displaced religious authorities following their physical trajectories outside of Syria. She will then focus on how displacement from war, violence and persecution reconfigures their spiritual role and their social status within receiving societies. By doing so, Dr. Carpi seeks to capture how such religious leaders are (un)able to continue their spiritual mission, and how the latter changes in response to their own refugee status and their intent to provide aid, support and solidarity to the displaced communities.

About the speaker

Estella Carpi is a research associate in the Migration Research Unit, Department of Geography, at the University College London, where she presently works on Southern-led humanitarian response to displacement from Syria in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. She received her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sydney (Australia). She has been primarily concerned with the social responses to crisis and crisis management in the Arab Levant and Turkey. She is author of Specchi Scomodi. Etnografia delle Migrazioni Forzate nel Libano Contemporaneo, published in Italian with Mimesis.

Dr. Tamirace Fakhoury (LAU) will moderate the event.

A reception will follow.