Alexandra Schindler

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Graduate Center, City U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9250

Approve Date

April 8, 2016

Project Title

Schindler, Alexandra Kath, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Untimeliness of Permanent Transience: The Social Lives of Syrians in Alexandria,' supervised by Dr. Gary Wilder

Preliminary abstract: The Mediterranean port city of Alexandria has historically been a global transit point for migration and trade. Today it is host to a multi-million dollar human smuggling industry, as thousands of Syrians fleeing civil war attempt to take boats across the water to Europe. Many Syrians however, for various reasons, are unable to leave Alexandria, and are now living in permanent transience throughout the city. The influx of Syrians to Alexandria has taken place against the backdrop of controversial post-Uprising development and revitalization projects, and complaints by the city’s Egyptian residents of state neglect and failing public infrastructures. This ethnographic project examines how new and distinct socio-economic relations, urban infrastructures, and informal economies emerge in Alexandria under the contemporary global and local conditions of war and displacement, economic precarity, and the failure of humanitarianism. In doing so, this research asks how the social lives of displaced Syrians in Alexandria invite us to rethink assumptions about mobility, displacement, and refugees.