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Newroz as a Site of Performance: Relating Kurdish Lifeworlds on Beirut's Dalieh

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dc.contributor.advisor Saleh, Elizabeth Matta Minick, Kellen 2023-05-17T04:51:35Z 2023-05-17T04:51:35Z 2023-05-17 2023-05-11
dc.description.abstract Since the outbreak of widespread violence in Syria, Kurdish militias have claimed a large territory of north Syria which they govern as Kurdistan. Regardless, Kurds make up a significant portion of millions of diverse refugees that have fled, and continue to flee, Syria. Many of these Kurds have been displaced to Lebanon, but due to Lebanon’s lack of demographic data, refusal to grant legal status to most refugees, and decentralized “weak state,” there is very little that can be stated as fact about the Syrian Kurds new to Lebanon. Kurds displaced from Syria are likely multigenerational refugees, and encounter nested crises in Lebanon, as well as a historical Kurdish community that has resided in Lebanon for a century or more. Considering the lack of knowledge about such a large population, this thesis conducts a literature review of Kurdish anthropology to suggest themes that may be relevant to a Kurdish-Lebanese anthropology. First, this thesis looks to the significance of Kurdish Newroz, an invented tradition that is celebrated by Kurds across the Middle East despite the violence that almost invariably follows. Regimes’ campaigns of targeting, silencing and assimilating Kurds over the last century makes their ability to occupy Beirut’s Dalieh every year in the name of Newroz without fear of state-sanctioned violence historically significant. Next, this thesis reviews three important ethnographies of Kurdish populations from the last decade. These ethnographies enlighten understandings of kinship, gender, agency, media, Islam and public urban space, contributing to some of the most important discussions in Middle Eastern anthropology today. The first of these ethnographies, by King, argues that life in Kurdistan is currently typified by an uneven, awkward grapple with “ascension,” which is likely also experienced by Kurds who are displaced to urban centers like Beirut. I posit these ethnographies as a new “wave” of Kurdish anthropology, since they all treat agency as dynamic, complex, and often invisible to western academics. Finally, I note similarities between themes in Lebanese and Kurdish ethnographies to suggest how the identities may interact in a currently precarious Lebanon, a context in which many groups may feel marginalized or ignored.
dc.language.iso en
dc.subject anthropology
dc.subject kurds
dc.subject lebanon
dc.subject turkey
dc.subject iraq
dc.subject syria
dc.subject refugee
dc.subject migrant
dc.subject literature review
dc.title Newroz as a Site of Performance: Relating Kurdish Lifeworlds on Beirut's Dalieh
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES)
dc.contributor.faculty Faculty of Arts and Sciences
dc.contributor.commembers Atwood, Blake
dc.contributor.commembers Wick, Livia MA
dc.contributor.AUBidnumber 202024161

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