Migrant Labor in Contemporary Beirut

E373 | Who do you think of, when you think of Beirut? In this episode, we speak to Sumayya Kassamali about the many non-citizen workers living in Beirut today, and how migration, race, class and gender affect their lives there. Many domestic workers who have migrated from Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and other countries to work in Beirut have fled their employers' homes. Focusing on the neighborhood of Dawra, Sumayya explains the many creative ways these women find to navigate life while undocumented in Beirut, how their lives have intertwined with other non-citizen peoples, like Syrian and Palestinian refugees, and more recently, the labor organizing of a vocal minority. We discuss how these migrant workers may also be thought of as exiles, and how the idea of a normative "Middle Eastern" subject needs to change. See more at https://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2018/08/migrant-labor-in-contemporary-beirut.html Sumayya Kassamali is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. She received her PhD from the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University in 2017. Shireen Hamza is a doctoral student in the History of Science department at Harvard University. Her research focuses broadly on the history of science and medicine in the Islamicate Middle Ages, especially in the Indian Ocean World. Sam Dolbee completed his Ph.D. in 2017 at New York University. His book project is an environmental history of the Jazira region in the late Ottoman period and its aftermath. CREDITS Release Date: 19 August 2018 Recording Location: Cambridge, MA Audio editing by Shireen Hamza Music: Special thanks to The Overseas Ensemble for permission to use multiple tracks from their album Images and bibliography courtesy of Sumayya Kassamali available at https://www.ottomanhistorypodcast.com/2018/08/migrant-labor-in-contemporary-beirut.html


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