Understanding What Syrian Refugees Want

In News by MIIC

Syrian refugees wait for the German chancellor during her visit at a refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border in Gaziantep on April 23, 2016. AFP/STR

While many parties to peace talks over Syria pay lip service to what the Syrian people want, most feel free to interpret their will. This is what makes the work of Kristin Fabbe and her colleagues Chad Hazlett and Tolga Sinmazdemir so important.

During the summer and fall of 2016, the trio of assistant professors from Harvard Business School, UCLA and Bogazici University in Turkey, respectively, conducted face-to-face interviews with 1,120 Syrians in Turkey, the country with the largest population of Syrian refugees.

The survey was carried out in Istanbul and in three Turkish provinces that border Syria: Gaziantep, Hatay and Sanliurfa. Great pains were taken to randomize the selection of respondents, choosing urban areas with heavy concentrations of Syrian refugees.

Fabbe said that respondents were diverse in terms of age, profession, ethnicity, language, sect and region of origin. Similar efforts were made to vary the sample with regard to when refugees fled Syria so as to get a range of experiences from different phases of the war. About 40 percent of the sample consisted of female Syrians.

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