Cairo Review No. 9

Humanity on the Move


Refugees and Researchers

In March, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that 20,665 Syrian refugees had been registered in Egypt by the international agency. The figure startled researchers at the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) at the American University in Cairo (AUC).

Diary of a BDS Activist

The United Nations General Assembly was on the eve of its historic vote to recognize the State of Palestine. But, for this Palestinian American, it was no cause for rejoicing. “The facts on the ground,” she told a packed lecture hall at the American University in Cairo (AUC) in November, “have killed the possibility of two states.”

Oriental Hall, etc.

What is President Barack Obama doing in Middle East? What should his policy be? Three former U.S. policy makers took a crack at those questions in “After the Arab Spring,” a forum held by AUC’s School of Global Affairs and Public Policy in February a few week’s after Obama’s inauguration for a second term of office.

Land of Immigration

A long-serving former head of the Migrants Branch of the International Labor Organization W.R. Boehning once wrote that, “The history of mankind is a history of migration.” Egyptians, better than most, know the value of Boehning’s insight.

Q & A

America’s New Face

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro is a leading voice for the humane treatment of undocumented migrants in the debate over U.S. immigration reform. He speaks with Cairo Review Managing Editor Scott MacLeod on being the grandson of a Mexican immigrant, why illegal aliens should be offered a path to citizenship, and how the rising clout of Hispanic voters forced Republicans to "change their tune" on the issue.

Global Forum

Land of Immigration

A long-serving former head of the Migrants Branch of the International Labor Organization W.R. Boehning once wrote that, “The history of mankind is a history of migration.” Egyptians, better than most, know the value of Boehning’s insight.

Book Reviews

Iranians in Texas

They fled a revolution in the Middle East, to experience discriminatory policies and stereotyping in the West.


Palestine Refugees

1882: First Aliyah, a mass immigration of Jews from Europe, begins.

1896: Theodor Herzl, a Budapest-born Jew, publishes Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), a pamphlet calling for Jews to escape anti-Semitism and persecution by achieving “the restoration of the Jewish state” in “a portion of the globe large enough to satisfy the rightful requirements of a nation.”

1897: First Zionist congress adopts the Basel Program, stating “Zionism seeks to secure for the Jewish people a publicly recognized, legally secured home in Palestine for the Jewish people” and calling for “the programmatic encouragement of the settlement of Palestine with Jewish agricultural workers, laborers and those pursuing other trades.”

1909: Jewish city of Tel Aviv is founded.


Struggle of the Middle East Refugees

The displacement of millions of Syrians is merely the latest such crisis in the region. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees argues that the world must provide political solutions, not only humanitarian aid.

“To Live, Not to Die”

Ali Hamouda is pumping gas in northern Jordan. Yasmin Khaled is sipping green tea chai at a trendy Amman café. Salma Farouk is languishing in a refugee camp in Turkey. Here are stories of the Syrian refugees.

Engaging the Haitian Diaspora

Some 70 percent of Haiti's skilled workers live outside the country. Tapping this important resource for economic development requires a better understanding of why they left and how they can effectively contribute to their homeland.

The Sinai Connection

Thousands of African migrants have fallen prey to human traffickers in Egypt. Their tragic stories unfold a tale of a desert border region's isolation and neglect, and a resulting descent into lawlessness.

Guests and Hosts

Iraqis have confounded Western expectations of refugee behavior. They did not leave their country en masse during the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Later when they fled sectarian violence, they refused to huddle in refugee camps. Arab traditions underpin a humane approach to asylum policy in the Middle East.

Congo Stories

Conflict and population displacement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is portrayed as impossibly complex. There are four competing accounts, depending on which side is telling the story. Interpretation of history will always be contested. A more inclusive narrative can clear the way to constructive solutions.

Driven Out By Drought

Millions of people are being forcibly displaced by sudden and slow onset disasters related to climate change. The problem: there is no international legislation providing a clear and secure basis for their rights and protection. A look at what this means for refugees in Kenya and Egypt.

Our Vietnamese Hearts

Those who fled the Fall of Saigon in 1975 were refugees traumatized by wars and bound by old ways of life. In the United States, they built new lives in a country known for its fabulous fantasies, high-tech wizardry, and individualistic ambition. For many, the homeland is a destination, but no longer their destiny.