• Unrest at the Gates of Aleppo: British Perspectives on the Bedouin Challenge to Public Security in Northern Syria, 1848-1913

    The political situation in the eastern Arab world during the colonial period was subject not only to the interests of the great powers of East and West but also to disturbances caused by tribal Arabs who found refuge in the desert. Although there has been much research on bedouin of both the nomadic and the sedentary tribes of Syria and its hinterland—mostly drawing on ethnographic aspects—little has been written on the tribes as a challenge to political stability. Aleppo is of special interest since it was an important city close to the desert frontier and was under permanent threat of bedouin raids. The city also was and still is a place of sectarian diversity, second only to Beirut, and all too often the Christian population was wedged between the Ottoman government and nomadic tribes. Dealing with the bedouin thus touches all aspects of an eroding Ottoman power that affected Levantine urban life and sectarian coexistence. This paper draws on previously unpublished archival sources of the British Consulate in Aleppo.

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    Allies in Eastern Trenches: Archaeological Salvage Operations in the French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon

    This article examines archaeological salvage operations that came about in the earliest years of the French mandate for Syria and Lebanon. Focusing on French archaeologists, it explores the competing rationales and realities they encountered in rescuing archaeological artifacts from an array of perceived perils. These acts of salvage brought French and British archaeologists together in a self-conscious practice of international cooperation that bridged the border between the mandate for Syria and Palestine and the Palestine mandate. The articles demonstrates how these archaeological partnerships developed intellectual and institutional arguments about the nature of the ancient past that sowed doubts about imperial politics in the Levant and even the virtues of the Sykes-Picot Agreement itself.

  • The Silver Lining of the Turkey-EU Refugee Deal: Pushing Ahead with the Integration of Syrian Refugees into Turkish Society

    One of the repercussions of the Syrian civil war is that Turkey has become host to the largest number of refugees in the world. While initially Turkish perceptions were that the refugees would return to Syria after the end of the conflict, there is a growing recognition that at least half of them will remain in Turkey. This acknowledgment has required Turkey to rethink its policies toward its Syrian “guests.” The thorniest issues have been the question of granting work permits and citizenship to some of the refugees. The claim put forward in this article is that the attention these issues gained in 2016 can partly be explained by the Turkey-EU refugee deal, which suggests that despite the criticism against it, it has also had a positive effect in promoting the integration of Syrian refugees into Turkey.