News from the project and partners

On 13 March 2018, Dr Marta Hawkins, attended the British Council’s launch of the ‘Language for Resilience’ exhibition in London. This impactful event focused specifically on the role of language in building resilience among refugees; “research has been undertaken in Jordan, the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey-interviewing teachers, ministry of education officials, children, parents, volunteers and NGO staff”. The outcomes were presented in a sensitive and visually compelling manner: the silky, floating, translucent banners with imprinted quotations from refugees and researchers represented the tenuousness of the situation and fragility of language communication. The designers of the exhibition installed the 3D version of some poignant statements that needed 3D glasses to be deciphered. The question emerged from there: what do the refugee host communities really know about the refugees and is the mutual understanding possible if the basic barrier is language?

when you are a refugee, you need food, shelter, safety, but you also need hope” #languageforResilience Education must be available to refugee children to enable them to speak up for themselves & parents

Mobilising Global Voices – London, June 7, 2017

At the AHRC International Development Summit, Dr Marta Hawkins (University of Plymouth) and Dr Diana Abouali (Tiraz, Jordan) discussed the Syrian Artisan Entrepreneurship Project during the session entitled Mobilising the Arts: Migration and Forced Displacement.

Key messages from the Summit as captured by Said Ebbini (King Hussein Foundation Information and Research Center, Jordan), and Dr Rawan Ibrahim (Tiraz, Jordan) include:

  • The urgent need to create strong multidisciplinary partnerships
  • The relative lack of intermixing between the academic and practitioner worlds has denied both the wealth of knowledge and experience of each other
  • The leadership and strategic planning of development needs to be gradually shifted to the global south
  • Impact needs to be complex. concerned with, and cognizant of, the long-term implications and the sustainability of development in the local context.

Leading Jordanian artisans and heritage entrepreneurs came together with representatives from UN agencies and other international, national and local agencies working with Syrian refugees to share their expert opinions, experiences and knowledge about the current state of the Syrian cultural heritage, and the enterprising efforts in Jordan for preserving it. 

Given the feed-forward from the participants, the research team will adjust the sampling framework to include Jordanian key informants and artisans alongside the Syrian refugee artisans residing in Jordan. In doing so, we will capture the nuances around the dynamics between the Jordanian and Syrian artisan communities, to reflect a more holistic and comprehensive perspective. 

Data collection with Syrian refugee male artisans operating enterprises that they established in Jordan at least three years ago will begin in May. Do get in touch to direct us towards such artisans.