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Refugees – Part One

Introduction

War destroys more than just physical landscapes and buildings.  War destroys lives in a myriad of heartbreaking courses of action; one is the creation of refugees.  Today, due to the violence in Syria, there are thousands of refugees massing in Jordan.  Refugees are defined by the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees as:

A person who ‘owing to well-founded fear or being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.

Of these refugees many are young adults or children who have begun to express their pain and anger at the loss of their homes, families and ways of life through violence directed at other refugees or aid workers.  These “unruly youth”  must be given other choices and opportunities to express their anger in order to quell the cycle of violence in the refugee camps as well as when they return home (Gilbert, 2013).   It is essential to address these issues immediately in order to prevent continued violence against those perceived as perpetrators by Syrian refugees once the violence of the civil war is ended as there is significant potential for retributive violence to occur.

This paper will outline a qualitative study, using phenomenological methods to explore the lived experiences as a Syrian refugee focusing specifically on how refugees are experiencing the feelings of anger and hatred towards those who contributed to their displacement and how those feelings might be channeled away from violence to other means of expression.    The first goal of this study will be to gain an understanding of the experiences of hate and anger that refugees are facing.  The second goal will be to create a mechanism through practice that will assist in stopping the spread of anger and hate within the refugee population in order to quell continued violence against perpetrators on their return to Syria.  The research will be framed by several theoretical approaches.  First, human rights theory will be addressed and explored.  Second, I will employ the use of The Duplex Theory of Hate (Sternberg, 2008) address the growing issues of anger and hate within the refugee camps that is contributing to increased violence within the camp as well, which may also potentially contribute to violence once refugees return home.

In tomorrow’s post we will discuss the theories regarding human rights, forced migration and the emotional responses being experienced by refugees.

To assist refugees you can contact the Utah Refugee Center  or The Refugee Center.

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