Getting by on the Margins: Sudanese and Somali Refugees - A Case Report of Refugees in Towns; Cairo, Egypt
This case report explores the Sudanese and Somali refugee experience in Cairo, focusing on Kilo Araba wa Nus1 and Hay el Ashr, two adjoining neighborhoods on the eastern outskirts of the city with large concentrations of Somali and Sudanese refugees. The case report pays particular attention to the role of social prejudice and racism in the everyday lives of Cairo’s refugees and how this affects their integration. There is extensive research on Cairo’s refugees, including studies of “closed-file” refugees, livelihoods, identity formation, and the relationship between UNHCR and Cairo’s various refugee populations.2 These studies discuss physical security, racism, exploitation, and violence, but seldom show how these issues affect the integration of refugees in Cairo. Yet, these are the issues refugees themselves raise with outsiders as the most pressing concerns within their communities.
This report begins with a brief history of forced migration in Egypt and the legal regime governing refugees in Egypt. The next section explores the urban impact and experiences of Sudanese and Somali refugees in Cairo’s migrant-hosting neighborhoods, focusing on Araba wa Nus and Hay el Ashr. I end with an assessment of the future outlook for Sudanese and Somali refugees in Cairo.