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Refugees Hosting Other refugees: Endurance and Maintenance of Care in Ouzaii (Lebanon)

Yassine, B; Al-Harity, H; Boano, C; (2020) Refugees Hosting Other refugees: Endurance and Maintenance of Care in Ouzaii (Lebanon). Journal of Refugee Studies 10.1093/jrs/fez098. (In press).

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Abstract

This paper examines the socio-spatial mechanisms that emerge when refugees host other refugees. It argues that there is an underlying social infrastructure of care that impacts the refugees’ choice of destinations and modes of survival. When refugees host other refugees from close networks of relatives and neighbors, they create their own spatial clusters. In the process, the social infrastructure of care offers one mode of security to vulnerable refugees. Care as a concept and an approach is related to ideas of endurance and maintenance. It facilitates multiple dimensions, from space, to affection, and to the everyday. It is able to reconfigure a life possible, life enduring, and a life meaningful in an urban setting. We focus on Ouzaii in Beirut, Lebanon. Ouzaii has been a destination for multiple displaced groups over different periods of time. Ouzaii currently hosts an approximate 10,000 Syrian refugees. They chose Ouzaii as their destination after they were helped by existing refugees who offered shelter and access to jobs. The resultant socio-spatial practices, flourishing businesses, and leisurely facilities are evidence of successful social networks that form an infrastructure of care. They also play a role in the reconstitution of Ouzaii itself. We conclude with reflections on how urban informality may offer refugees an alternative right to the city while allowing them to escape the gaze of the humanitarian aid apparatus that can signify their vulnerability by reducing them to only being aid recipients. Instead, they form protective socio-spatial networks that has proved to be powerful in sustaining their livelihoods, guarding them from possible social discrimination or political threats.

Type: Article
Title: Refugees Hosting Other refugees: Endurance and Maintenance of Care in Ouzaii (Lebanon)
DOI: 10.1093/jrs/fez098
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fez098
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Syrian refugees, protracted displacement, informality, infrastructure of care, Lebanon, Ouzaii
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085403
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