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Profile photo of Rafah Barhoum

Rafah Barhoum

Language training expert

Profile photo of Rafah Barhoum

Refugee livelihoods in Egypt and Lebanon


  • Helen Avery
  • Rafah Barhoum
  • Samir Shalabi
  • Nihal Halimeh

Summary, in English

Beyond conventional relief efforts, gaining a more detailed picture of constraints, resources and risks encountered by refugees as well as of the meaning differing circumstances have for the concerned individuals may serve as a basis for developing more organised and collective responses to ensure social security in conditions of forced displacement and migration.
Syrian refugees live very diverse situations, depending on access to social, financial and educational capital, as well as on their religion. Nevertheless, findings suggest that macro-scales policies have driven a large proportion of the interviewed Syrians into informality, and into situations of great personal insecurity. Particularly in Lebanon, policies primarily aim to restrict movement, control the refugees, and avoid permanent settlement by restrictive regulations concerning work. The Syrian community that was studied in Egypt appeared to be in a somewhat better situation. Despite restrictions on movement, lack of services, poor quality of education and poverty, Syrians had started small businesses, and functioned openly as a community. Also here, however, longer term perspectives were lacking.


  • Centre for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)
  • MECW: The Middle East in the Contemporary World

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • International Migration and Ethnic Relations
  • Social and Economic Geography


  • livelihoods
  • refugees
  • Lebanon
  • Egypt
  • mobility
  • refugee economies

Conference name

World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies 2018

Conference date

2018-07-16 - 2018-07-22

Conference place

Seville, Spain




  • Refugee livelihoods