Returning Levinson fellow Joshua Levkowitz reported about his fellowship at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs on Friday, November 10. Based in Istanbul, he spent two years traveling around Syria’s neighboring countries and beyond, immersing himself in Syrian refugee communities. Read his dispatches here.
Joshua has reported on issues related to migration, assimilation, identity and security, networks between Syrian migrants and Syria, and the impact the diaspora is having on host societies and politics, including the mounting pressure on Syrians to return home.
Following his talk, Joshua joined a panel including Basma Alloush, External Relations Officer at the UN High Commission for Refugees, and Rafif Jouejati, co-founder and director of the Foundation to Restore Equality and Education in Syria (FREE Syria). The discussion was moderated by former fellow Andrew Tabler (Lebanon, Syria, 2005-2007).
This event was co-hosted by Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Society and George Washington University. It was also livestreamed.
Video of the event coming soon.
Joshua Levkowitz immersed himself in Syrian communities living in Syria’s neighboring countries. He examined issues related to migration, identity and threats to security, including the degree to which Syrians are able to assimilate or integrate, the perception and effects the diaspora is having on host societies, and networks between Syrian migrants and Syria. Before his fellowship, Joshua was living in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil as a senior program officer on reconciliation with United States Institute of Peace.
Basma Alloush is the External Relations Officer at the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). She is also a lecturer at George Washington University’s Elliott School. Previously she was Policy Advisor at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) leading the policy team’s work on the Middle East, Afghanistan, and restrictive measures, and Senior Policy and Advocacy Adviser at the Norwegian Refugee Council USA.
Rafif Jouejati is the co-founder and director of the Foundation to Restore Equality and Education in Syria (FREE Syria), and the principal architect of the Syrian Freedom Charter project, which surveyed more than 50,000 Syrians on democratic aspirations and political transition. Rafif served as spokesperson and Executive Committee member of the Local Coordination Committees in Syria, and as spokesperson for the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces during the Geneva II peace process. She is a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute.
Andrew Tabler is Senior Fellow in the Linda and Tony Rubin Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute, where he focuses on Syria, the Levant, and US Middle East Policy, and Director of the Institute’s Junior Research Program. Previously, he served as senior advisor to the Special Envoy for Syria Engagement at the US Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and director for Syria at the National Security Council’s Middle East Affairs Directorate. He is author of In the Lion’s Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington’s Battle with Syria.
Top photo: When two earthquakes ripped through Turkey and Syria on February 6, the city of Antakya was reduced to rubble