Nasser Yassin, Director of Research, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut
Refugee Research and Policy Program, January 2018
The Syrian crisis, in its magnitude, intensity and protracted nature, has amplified a new wave of anti-immigrant and anti-refugee reactions and sentiments in Syria’s neighboring countries and in the Global North. It is the largest humanitarian tragedy and the biggest displacement crisis since World War II. Inside Syria, more than 6 million persons have been internally displaced, and more than 5 million have been displaced outside Syria, mostly in the neighboring countries of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The rising anti-refugee and anti-Syrian sentiments are frequently fuelled by the use of half-truths and falsehoods to either exaggerate or generalize the impact of the refugees on host societies or the potential consequence of hosting them. The burden of Syrian refugees is exaggerated far beyond the realities, which is, admittedly, by no means a minor issue. This exaggeration starts with inflaming the demography-related phobia inherent in many host societies. We read and hear dubious figures of Syrian annual births with all its ensuing demography-related panic. We also read some observers making false claims that Syrian refugee men are trained to use arms and are infiltrating their host societies as terrorists, including through references to ‘sleeper cells disguised as refugees’. Maintaining security, as well as the exaggeration of the economic burden of the presence of refugees, have been the backbone of the prevailing narrative against refugees.
Read the full book "101 Facts & Figures on the Syrian Refugee Crisis - Volume I"
Read the Arabic book "١٠١ من الحقائق والأرقام حول أزمة اللجوء السوري"