This thesis examines the fluidity and complexity of the everyday lives of Syrians in Egypt. While it is not meant to be comprehensive, and speaks to the very particular social in which the research was conducted, this project seeks to disrupt the processes with which categorizations and solid understandings of migration and refugeeness emerge. It argues that neat understandings of the everyday is not possible, but rather, a closer reading uncovers the undoing and reassembling of the intricate relations at play- processes that speak to the very core understandings of power, governance, and sovereignty. By methodologically employing the idea of the mess, the fragmented way in which the self navigates a contradictory everyday life becomes visible: a process that is rife with myriad encounters with various forms of powers. The thesis grapples with everyday mundane events, and not so mundane events, to trace the paths which the self configures, be it through the moment of arrival, bureaucratic navigation, modes of survival, community imagination, or the potentialities of reconfiguration. This thesis attempts to push away from the rhetoric of brush-stroking experiences assumed to be interchangeable, like “Syrian” and “refugee”, and concludes instead with a note on embracing the world that is in flux.


Cynthia Nelson Institute for Gender and Women's Studies

Degree Name

MA in Gender & Women's Studies

Graduation Date


Submission Date

September 2017

First Advisor

Rieker, Martina

Committee Member 1

Sabea, Hanan

Committee Member 2

Heck, Gerda


136 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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