Refugee Hosts PI Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh’s work with and in support of refugees around the world has been recognised in this year’s UCL Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement, through being granted the Established Career Academic award. The award panel noted that they were “hugely impressed by the role [Elena has] played in catalysing the development of UCL-wide public engagement activities in relation to support for refugees and displaced people and by the impact of [her] own research on humanitarian policy and practice.”
All of Elena’s research projects – including her AHRC-ESRC-funded Refugee Hosts project and more recently-launched ERC-funded Southern Responses to Displacement project, which are examining responses to displacement from Syria through research with and in 9 communities in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey – have strong public engagement and policy components, including through the creation of dynamic online ‘communities of conversation’; through working collaboratively with locally-based researchers who have themselves been affected by conflict and displacement; and by co-creating knowledge with humanitarian policy-makers and practitioners.
In addition to working closely with local communities affected by displacement across the Middle East, Elena regularly presents her research at high-profile INGO and UN events, including at the 2017 UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Dialogue on Protection Challenges, and the forthcoming 2018 UNHCR NGO Consultations.
In turn, under her leadership, the UCL-wide Refuge in a Moving World network has promoted diverse activities to help UCL develop sustainable ways of supporting refugees and asylum-seekers in the UK, including potential refugee students and refugee academics.
This year, for instance, with her UCL-IOE colleagues Dr. Claudia Lapping, Dr. Rachel Rosen and many others, an action-research project funded by the UCL Grand Challenges programme has been working with women refugees and London-based charities to strengthen pathways to education for women refugees in London.
And with her colleagues Prof. Helen Chatterjee (UCL Biology) and Dr Bev Butler (Archaeology), Elena is collaborating on the ‘Moving Objects’ project, which – along with the Helen Bamber Foundation and UCL Culture – is critically exploring the roles heritage, curation and museums can play in shaping refugee wellbeing and ‘place-making’. This project, funded by UCL Critical Heritage Studies, UCL Grand Challenges and UCL Geography, will culminate in an exhibition in February 2019 at the Octagon Space in UCL, drawing on the outcomes of three workshops with displaced peoples and museum curators, as well as the findings and creative ‘objects’ (including poems and stories) produced through the Refugee Hosts project.
The Refugee Hosts team are thrilled that Elena has received this award. As our project progresses, we look forward to furthering the impact of Elena’s displacement-related research, including through our forthcoming policy roundtables in the Middle East and Geneva, and through our dynamic, online ‘community of conversation’.
For links to Elena’s Refugee Hosts-related work on displacement, please see below.
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2017) ‘Representations of Displacement: Introducing the Series‘ Refugee Hosts Blog, 1 Sep. 2017
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2017) ‘Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon face an uncertain 2017,’ The Conversation, 4 Jan. 2017
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2016) ‘Palestinian and Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Sharing Space, Electricity and the Sky,’ Refugee History, 21 Dec. 2016.
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2016) ‘Refugee-Refugee Relations in Contexts of Overlapping Displacement,’ International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, ‘Spotlight On’ The Urban Refugee “Crisis”. 25 Nov. 2016.
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2016) ‘Hospitality and Hostility: The roles of established refugees in a crisis.’ YouTube video of Elena’s UCL Lunch Hour Lecture, 1 Nov. 2016. Watch it here.
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2016) ‘Repressentations of Displacement in the Middle East,’ Public Culture, 28(3).
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. and Qasmiyeh, Y. M. (2016) ‘Refugee Neighbours and Hostipitality: Exploring the complexities of refugee-refugee humanitarianism,’ Refugee Hosts (Originally The Critique, 5 January 2016.)
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2015) ‘Refugees helping refugees: how a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon is welcoming Syrians,’ The Conversation, 4 November 2015.