Finjan Qahwa Presents: The Refugees’ Empire – A Talk by Vladimir Troyansky

September 4, 2014

The Refugees’ Empire: Networks of North Caucasus Muhajirs in Jordan, Syria, and Anatolia, 1878-1914

at 7iber (map below), Wednesday September 10, 2014, at 8:00 pm

In his talk, Vladimir Troyansky will discuss one of the largest humanitarian crises in the modern history of the Middle East: the arrival and resettlement of hundreds of thousands of Circassian, Chechen, and Daghestani muhajirs in the last decades of the Ottoman rule. Dispersed throughout Bilad al-Sham, Anatolia, and the Balkans, these refugees profoundly changed Ottoman demographics and labor markets. In various parts of the Middle East, the North Caucasus immigrants built the first schools, mosques, and roads. In Jordan, Circassians are credited with reviving the fortunes of Amman and Jerash.  With their families often split between the Caucasus and different Ottoman provinces, refugees faced challenges in communicating with their kin. Nevertheless, they preserved some of the old ties and established new connections in diaspora. This talk will offer a glimpse into the social and economic networks that immigrants fostered throughout the empire.

Vladimir Troyansky is a Ph.D. candidate in Modern Middle Eastern History at Stanford University. His dissertation explores the migration and resettlement of refugees from the Russian Empire’s North Caucasus region in the Ottoman Empire, including the territory of Jordan, in the 1860-1914 period. Vladimir is broadly interested in refugee and migration studies in the late Ottoman era. He is currently a research fellow at the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman. He will also conduct archival research in Istanbul, Tbilisi, Moscow, and Sofia. Vladimir completed his undergraduate and Masters studies at the University of St Andrews and the University of Edinburgh, and had the privilege of living and studying in Syria, Egypt, and Turkey.

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