Egypt and Libya

The protests and movements sweeping across the Middle East are bringing the issue of borders and citizenship to the forefront of political minds everywhere. Particularly in Libya, where Gaddafi’s rule is threatening the lives of so many, large groups of people are attempting to leave the country before violence and chaos spreads further.

British PM David Cameron recently pledged to assist the refugees in getting out of Libya – many of which are Egyptian migrant workers who are trying to return home. A recent article from The Telegraph (Mar 2/11) stated the following:

“Conditions at the border are said to be worsening, with guards unable to stem the tide of those seeking to flee Libya as it descends into civil war.

Many have been caught up in crushes, as they attempt to cross, and food and water are becoming scarce.

Aid workers have scrambled to set up a transit camp with enough tents to house around 10,000 poor. Water and sanitation are said to be poor.”

One of the research themes that KIAS is focusing on this research cycle is that of Place, Belonging, and Otherness. How do you think the political changes in the Middle East are affecting the policies of borders – and how will this affect the feeling of belonging to the citizens of these countries?

Do you think that these protests and government overhauls will alter the way borders and citizenship are viewed in the Middle East?


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