Diasporas from the Middle East: Displacement, Transnational Identities and Homeland Politics

  • Citation: Baser, Bahar, and Amira Halperin. “Diasporas from the Middle East: Displacement, Transnational Identities and Homeland Politics.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 46, no. 2 (2019).
    • Topics:
    • Country and Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • Middle East and North Africa
    • refugees
    • migration
    • diaspora

Migrants and refugees from Middle Eastern countries are scattered around the globe, predominantly in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Region, Europe and the USA. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of migrants living in the Middle East more than doubled, from about 25 million to around 54 million.1 Some of this growth was due to individuals and families seeking economic opportunities. But the majority of the migration surge, especially after the war in Syria began in 2011, was a consequence of armed conflict and the forced displacement of millions of people from their homes, many of whom have left their countries of birth.2 Furthermore, the estimated number of immigrants to Europe between mid-2010 and mid-2016 was 7 million, not including 1.7 million asylum seekers. Among these European countries, Germany recorded the highest level of immigration, followed by Britain, France, Spain and Italy.3 These migration flows not only reflect the existence of drivers of migration due to conflict in the Middle East, but also reveal the potential formation of new diasporas throughout time and the growing size of the already existing ones in host countries all around the world.

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