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Abdulla Ghneim
عبدالله غنيم
A freelance journalist interested in cultural and social issues, Abdulla Ghneim has worked since 2011 in many media outlets as an economic editor.

Egypt: Transit Country or Home?

Finding a home often takes more than one try
Egypt: Transit Country or Home?
A collection of stories that looks at refugee groups that have passed through or made Egypt their new home.
3/4/2017 | Cairo

In 1953, there were numerous waves of asylum seekers to the Republic of Egypt, starting with Palestinians. The war of 1948 and the establishment of Israel were major reasons behind free officers taking power in 1952 and declaring the establishment of the Palestinian Republic. During the 1950s and 1960s, Egypt witnessed the arrival of a large number of refugees from sub-Saharan African countries, which were at the time trying to gain their independence. Egypt, then under the rule of Gamal Abdel Nasser, provided them with a good deal of aid.

The flow of refugees has still not stopped: refugees from West Africa, the latest Syrian refugees following the Arab Spring, and small waves of refugees from Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and South Sudan follow. Egypt has long been a transit station for people caught between two countries: the one from where they escaped and one where they seek better opportunities.

As we take a closer look at some of these surges of migrants seeking refuge, we will not be presenting rigid figures, nor will we provide generalizations that do not allow us to see the peculiarity of each case. We are, rather, showing special cases of migrants to Egypt, some of whom stayed while others are still waiting to leave. While each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances, others bear commonalities familiar to all people on the move:

Palestinian Identities in Egypt

Syrian Struggles in Cairo

A Neverending Transition (Tale of an Eritrean)

Remembering the 'Sudanese Graveyard'

A Long Way to Sweden (An Iraqi Experience)

Image: Kaveh Kazemi / Getty Images