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Author Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Elena, 1978- author

Title The ideal refugees : gender, Islam, and the Sahrawi politics of survival / Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Edition First edition
Published Syracuse, New York : Syracuse University Press, 2014
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (352 pages)
Series Gender, culture, and politics in the Middle East
Gender, culture, and politics in the Middle East.
Contents Introduction : the "ideal" refugees -- Engendering the colonial encounter -- The Sahrawi refugee camps : international and solidarity networks -- Emerging discourse : concealing Islam -- Secular sisters, Muslim others, and the politics of survival -- Discursive silences, "ideal women", and directing aid -- Conclusion
Summary Refugee camps are typically perceived as militarized and patriarchal spaces, and yet the Sahrawi refugee camps and their inhabitants have consistently been represented as ideal in nature: uniquely secular and democratic spaces, and characterized by gender equality. Drawing on extensive research with and about Sahrawi refugees in Algeria, Cuba, Spain, South Africa, and Syria, Fiddian-Qasmiyeh explores how, why, and to what effect such idealized depictions have been projected onto the international arena. In The Ideal Refugees, the author argues that secularism and the empowerment of Sahrawi refugee women have been strategically invoked to secure the humanitarian and political support of Western state and non-state actors who ensure the continued survival of the camps and their inhabitants. This book challenges the reader to reflect critically on who benefits from assertions of good, bad, and ideal refugees, and whose interests are advanced by interwoven discourses about the empowerment of women and secularism in contexts of war and peace.--Publisher description
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Internally displaced persons -- Western Sahara.
Islam and politics -- Western Sahara.
Refugee camps -- Western Sahara.
Sahrawi (African people)
Women refugees -- Western Sahara.
Women -- Political activity -- Western Sahara.
Western Sahara -- Politics and government -- 1975-
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0815652364 (electronic bk.)
9780815652366 (electronic bk.)