African Refugees in Egypt: Trauma, Loss, and Cultural Adjustment

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Psychology Department

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Research Article

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Death Studies

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This study examined the influence of pre-immigration trauma on the acculturation process of refugees, as reflected in the manifestations of their continuing bonds with native cultures. Six African refugees who sought refuge in Egypt because of wars and political persecution were interviewed about the circumstances of their departure from their home countries, as well as their life experiences in Egypt. All participants kept continuing bonds with their native cultures, but these bonds manifested differently depending on their ability to assimilate pre-immigration trauma and cultural losses. Participants who successfully assimilated both pre-immigration trauma and cultural losses developed continuing bonds with their native cultures that helped them (a) integrate the Egyptian culture into their life experiences and (b) tolerate difficult political conditions in Egypt. Participants who could not assimilate their pre-immigration trauma and cultural losses also developed continuing bonds with their native culture, but these bonds only provided them with solace. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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