By Mohammad Abu Srour*
“Sanaúd! Voltaremos! and We will Return!”
Once, in a testimony, Mr. Hannah Youssef Safieh, a Palestinian who lives in the city of Natal (in northeast Brazil), recalled an interview he gave to a French magazine in 1968 when he was in Belgium for a large event in solidarity with Palestine. When asked about whether Palestinians had a slogan akin to the legendary Jewish phrase “Next year to Jerusalem,” he replied: "Of course we have: Sanaúd! (We will return!)” This traditional expression of the Palestinian diaspora reveals the desire to return to the place from which they were displaced, their homeland. It was exactly this same expression that in 1982 became the title of one of the largest political organizations of the second generation of Palestinians in Brazil, the Cultural Association Sanaúd. Sanaúd was formed by a group of young people from the Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian Diasporas; residents in Brazil who often met in an office named "Sociedade Árabe Palestina" located at Avenida Senador Queiróz in Sao Paulo.
Photo: Demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian people outside the La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, Chile (Source: bbc.com)
by Francesca Albanese* and Elisa Mosler Vidal**
by Lisa Auer*
Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, France has welcomed more than 10,000 Syrian refugees and Palestinian refugees from Syria from the over five million people who fled the conflict. Four thousand five hundred were granted refugee status in accordance with the 1951 Geneva Convention, while the rest received subsidiary protection (protection subsidiaire). Subsidiary protection is a special asylum regime granted, after examination of the request, to all people who cannot enjoy refugee status but face in their country of origin serious risks of death penalty, torture or ill-treatments, or grave, direct and individual threat to life because of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or non-international armed conflict.
by Karima Abdel Aziz
Photo: Protesters urge the British government to do more to help Syrian refugees during a protest in Parliament Square, London, July 2015. (Frank Augstein/AP)
by Lana Ramadan*
As in other European countries, the UK responded to the Syrian crisis by giving humanitarian aid and setting up a resettlement scheme for Syrians. However, the UK excluded Palestinian refugees from Syria from the resettlement scheme and did not provide them with the same treatment as Syrian nationals. Instead, Palestinian refugees from Syria seeking asylum in the UK go through the asylum application process just like any other Palestinian seeking asylum from countries other than Syria. This article will highlight the UK’s asylum and resettlement frameworks, explain its policies in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, and show how Palestinian refugees from Syria are not receiving equal protection in the UK.
by Karima Abdel Aziz* and Maya al-Orzza**
Due to its geographical location, Greece was the first European Union (EU) member state that many refugees fleeing Syria reached. Its proximity to Syria and also to Lebanon and Turkey - two of the main receiving countries of refugees from Syria - by land and sea resulted in a mass influx of refugees into Greece. Along with thousands of Syrians, a high number of Palestinian refugees from Syria ended up in Greece.1 The exact number of refugees from Syria that have entered Greece is difficult to assess accurately, as most of them did not claim asylum in Greece. Some were unable to do so due to the overload of refugees and the inaccessibility of the asylum system, while others preferred to continue to other EU countries and claim asylum there.2
by Naomi M. R. Graham*
While the exact number of Palestinians granted asylum in Europe is unknown,1 from the beginning of the refugee flow from Syria towards Europe, Palestinian refugees from Syria have not received the international protection they are entitled to. In great part, this is due to the lack of effective implementation of an emergency response to the mass influx of refugees that fled to Europe, especially to Greece. The response of European countries and the mechanisms adopted to deal with the refugee issue were not only insufficient to handle the large number of asylum seekers, but also discriminatory against Palestinian refugees from Syria. This discrimination does not always start when refugees or asylum seekers arrive to a safe country, but often on the way there.