Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - MERGE - Migration and the Middle East

Unforseen disaster in Afghanistan?

A Dezim_talk in cooperation with MERGE

Dezim in cooperation with MERGE on 26 Aug 2021:
Transnational perspectives on Afghan refugee protection.

Watch the recorded event here.


Following the rapid fall of the Afghan government to Taliban forces, we are witnessing the unfolding of a humanitarian crisis. While the speed and success of the Taliban insurgency was surprising to many, so has been the poor handling of the events that followed the withdrawal of American and other Western forces from Afghanistan. Together with our panellists we seek to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan and of Afghan refugees in the region and in Europe. In particular, our discussion will centre around the following questions:

  1. What is the current situation in Afghanistan, and of Afghan refugees in regional host countries, in transit countries and in Germany?
  2. What has been the role of Germany and western countries in the region? What responsibilities are associated with that role in the way forward?
  3. What can we learn from reactions of Western countries and in particular Germany in terms of understanding the current situation? How will it likely affect refugee protection in different regions? What mobility and mobility restrictions do we currently see?
  4. What do we understand from the current research in terms of structural challenges that need to be addressed in the current crisis, regarding inter-regional dynamics, vulnerabilities of particular groups and the temporality of camp structures?
  5. What future research is needed, where do we need more knowledge?

We will discuss these questions with our guests:

  • Dr. Nader Talebi is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM) at the Humboldt University. He has done research on Transnational Migration and Afghan Refugees in Iran.
  • Kava Spartak is Head of Yaar e.V., an Afghan migrant organisation in Germany. The association YAAR e.V is comprised of friends who have been working on an honorary basis since 2012, and with subsidies since 2016, to support Afghan refugees
  • Masooma Torfa is a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Hohenheim. Her research focusses on the migration of Afghans and Syrians, their integration opportunities and challenges as well as the role of influential actors and factors.
  • Dr. Hannah Pool is postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Germany. In her research, she conducted a musti-sited ethnography on undocumented migration trajectories accompanying Afghan refugees on their way from Iran through Turkey, Greece and Bosnia.
  • Currently, she is a Charlemagne PrizeAcademy Fellow at the COMPAS Institute of Oxford University

Moderation: Dr. Zeynep Yanasmayan, Lead of the Migration Department at DeZIM.