"The fault of our grandfathers"

Yemen's third-generation migrants seeking refuge from displacement

Nathalie Peutz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Djibouti's Markazi camp for refugees from Yemen between 2016 and 2018, this article examines the complex motivating factors that drove a subset of Yemenis to seek refuge in the Horn of Africa. Although the primary reason for their flight to the Horn of Africa was the ongoing war, a secondary but not inconsequential driver of many of these Yemeni refugees' current displacement was their family histories of transnational migrations and interethnic marriages. This article argues that, for this group, it was their "mixed" (muwallad) Arab and African parentage and resulting alienation in Yemen that made their flight imaginable - and, in their view, imperative. Although "mixed motive migration" is not unusual, this example underscores how spatial and social (im)mobilities in Yemen and the Horn of Africa region have been co-constituted across generations. More importantly, it has critical implications for the recently adopted Global Compact on Refugees, which promotes (among other solutions) the "local integration" of refugees in their proximate host societies.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalInternational Journal of Middle East Studies
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

    Fingerprint

    Yemen
    third generation
    refugee
    refuge
    migrant
    reason for flight
    interethnic marriage
    Djibouti
    flight
    migration
    parentage
    Social Mobility
    marriage
    alienation
    genealogy
    driver
    Refugees
    Migrants
    Fault
    Refuge

    Keywords

    • Djibouti
    • integration
    • refugees
    • social marginalization
    • Yemen

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • History
    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Djibouti's Markazi camp for refugees from Yemen between 2016 and 2018, this article examines the complex motivating factors that drove a subset of Yemenis to seek refuge in the Horn of Africa. Although the primary reason for their flight to the Horn of Africa was the ongoing war, a secondary but not inconsequential driver of many of these Yemeni refugees' current displacement was their family histories of transnational migrations and interethnic marriages. This article argues that, for this group, it was their {"}mixed{"} (muwallad) Arab and African parentage and resulting alienation in Yemen that made their flight imaginable - and, in their view, imperative. Although {"}mixed motive migration{"} is not unusual, this example underscores how spatial and social (im)mobilities in Yemen and the Horn of Africa region have been co-constituted across generations. More importantly, it has critical implications for the recently adopted Global Compact on Refugees, which promotes (among other solutions) the {"}local integration{"} of refugees in their proximate host societies.",
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