Monthly Archives: September 2013

Arrived in Kuala Lumpur

I arrived in Kuala Lumpur safely. My first impressions of the city are very positive: big, modern, and clean city with a great diversity of peoples, cultures, and cuisines. My hotel serves several types of breakfasts: continental, American, Malay, Indian, and Chinese reflecting the backgrounds of the hotel guests and locals. The staff is equally diverse, including Burmese and Sri Lankan refugees. Malaysia is not a signatory of the Refugee Convention and refugees do not have the right to work. They do work, however, illegally and for very little money; less than $200 a month. Reportedly their working conditions border on forced labor.

I have reunited with my research partner, Avie, a Georgetown alumna and my former student. We have not seen each other since her graduation from a master’s program in the School of Foreign service in 2008, but did not lack things to talk about, including Avie’s plans to get a Ph.D. in anthropology!

Tomorrow we will be training seven refugee research assistants in research ethics, informed consent and confidentiality issues as well as ethnographic interviews. I usually include some discussion of the historical antecedents of current research ethics requirements in my training. I wonder whether discussions of the Nuremberg Code of 1947 and the Belmont Report of 1979 can be conveyed not only cross-culturally but also generationally.

Leave a comment

Filed under Urban Refugees

On my way to Kuala Lumpur

I leave for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia later today to study urban refugees’ access to education, healthcare, and livelihoods. This project continues ISIM’s engagement with research on urban refugees in Cairo, Amman, Beirut, Irbid, Mafraq, Ramtha and Tripoli. I am looking forward to this fieldwork and to a reunion with Avie Azis, who graduated from Georgetown with an MSFS in International Relations in 2008. Stay tuned for our notes from the field.

Leave a comment

Filed under Urban Refugees