Close to the entrance of Cairo’s legendary Tahrir Square, a tent adorned with the Syrian flag houses photographs of the brutality of 18 months of atrocities and casualties of the Syrian uprising. My proposed thesis will examine Syrians who migrated to Cairo fleeing the violence in Syria, where escalating battles between rebel forces and the Syrian army continue to push hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians into Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, estimates it has assisted more than 700,000 registered Syrian refugees in these countries since the revolution kicked off in March 201, a number believed to be much higher due to hundreds of thousands of unregistered refugees. There are no official figures of how many Syrian refugees are living in Egypt, and the Egyptian media reports on numbers vary. According to one source, an average of 20 to 50 Syrian families are arriving every day in Egypt as the violence and destruction escalates in Syria, with more than 100,000 refugees currently seeking asylum in Egypt. This thesis explores the Syrian refugee community in Cairo and reveals the assets employed and the strategies implemented to achieve secure livelihoods. It also uncovers their demographic profile, patterns of flight, and duration of stay in Egypt. These refugees are more than just a statistic—they are the faces of a revolution. This project not only provides valuable context for the Syrian revolution itself, but will also shed light refugee laws in Egypt and President Morsy’s current policies towards the Asad regime. This thesis will also explores grassroots movements led by Egyptians and Syrian refugees, including cultural, political, and humanitarian efforts to raise awareness about the Syrian cause.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Degree Name

MA in Middle Eastern Studies

First Advisor

Ullah, AKM Ahsan

Committee Member 1

Khallaf, Shaden

Committee Member 2

Natarajan, Usha

Document Type



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