Refugee Protection - Cairo Workshop

Posted on 12 December 2012

"Refugees in Egypt: What Revolution? Whose Revolution?".

Amidst the ongoing public protests in Egypt, on Thursday December 13th, the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) in collaboration with the Egyptian Foundation for Refugee Rights hosted in Cairo a workshop entitled "Refugees in Egypt: What Revolution? Whose Revolution?". 

In the heady days of the Arab Spring of 2011, protesters in Tahrir Square took up a chant proclaiming “We are all Egyptian”. However, most refugees were not included in the Revolution either as participants or beneficiaries. Since the early days of the Revolution, many refugees in Egypt have faced increased xenophobia, overt racism and violence. For many refugees in Egypt the weeks of the Revolution were marked by isolation, fear and brutality. In the aftermath of the Revolution, the promise of greater freedom has not yet been extended to refugees. The workshop provided a forum to discuss the situation of refugees in Egypt and the changes that have occurred as a result of the Revolution (even as the existence of a singular "Revolution" is increasingly in doubt). 

The workshop was attended by around two dozen participants, drawn from local refugee service providers, international NGOs, academics, and international organisations such as IOM and UNHCR. The workshop is part of a series of international workshops hosted by the CAHR as part of its AHRC funded Translating Freedom project that provide a forum for the discussion of the role of “translators” of freedom and the meaning of freedom in revolutionary and post-revolutionary communities. The other workshops are being held in Capetown, Kigali and York.