Elyse Semerdjian

This article discusses how Armenians have collected, displayed and exchanged the bones of their murdered ancestors in formal and informal ceremonies of remembrance in Dayr al-Zur, Syria – the final destination for hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the deportations of 1915. These pilgrimages – replete with overlapping secular and nationalist motifs – are a modern variant of historical pilgrimage practices; yet these bones are more than relics. Bone rituals, displays and vernacular memorials are enacted in spaces of memory that lie outside of official state memorials, making unmarked sites of atrocity more legible. Vernacular memorial practices are of particular interest as we consider new archives for the history of the Armenian Genocide. The rehabilitation of this historical site into public consciousness is particularly urgent, since the Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum and Martyr’s Church at the centre of the pilgrimage site were both destroyed by ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) in 2014.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Alexis Heraclides and Ada Dialla

On intervention The second intervention in the nineteenth century on humanitarian grounds is regarded the great power intervention in Lebanon and Syria, headed by France. 1 Both were at the time provinces of Greater Syria, within the Ottoman Empire, which included today’s Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. When the intervention in Lebanon and Syria took place in 1860–61, the debate among publicists on humanitarian

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century
From the Global to the Local
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

Introduction With the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) having run a deficit almost since the start of its operations in 1950, the US’s decision – as UNRWA’s erstwhile primary funder – to cut its financial support for the Agency is having a significant impact both on UNRWA and over five million Palestinian refugees living across UNRWA’s five areas of operation in the Middle East: Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. This article explores UNRWA’s responses to this dramatic cut in funding; more specifically

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
David Rieff

which they won’t be able to operate, and more in which they will be able to operate but with less independence. The reality, though, is that things were headed in this direction anyway. The horrendous risk to humanitarian staff that now exists in war zones such as Syria has seen to that, as has an older phenomenon of strong regimes in the Global South unwilling to let NGOs operate without their nihil obstat . This dates back at least to the coming to power of Paul Kagame in Rwanda in 1994; and it was most flagrant in the curbs on the public

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Roxana Ferllini

This article presents an account of the involvement of forensic anthropology in the investigation of human rights abuses in the modern era, and the difficulties it faces with respect to lack of adequate funding, volatile settings, the presence of unexploded ordnance, corruption in governmental agencies and a lack of good will, absence of support for NGOs and the curtailment of formal judicial proceedings to effect transitional justice. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Spain, Mexico and the Northern Triangle are provided as regional examples of the problems encountered when attempting to conduct forensic anthropological investigations to locate mass graves, retrieve victims and obtain proper identifications. Interventions by various organisations are highlighted to illustrate their assistance to forensic and non-forensic individuals through technical support, training and mentoring in the areas of crime-scene management and identification techniques. Interventions in mass-grave processing when state agencies have failed, the importance of DNA banks and information from family members and witnesses are also presented.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Mel Bunce

Introduction In 2014, a campaign group posted a video on YouTube called ‘Syrian hero boy’. The clip showed a young boy dramatically running through gunfire to save a girl, and it quickly went viral. The video was viewed more than five million times and republished on the websites of mainstream news outlets around the world, including the Daily Telegraph, Independent , Daily Mail and New York Post . It was also shared by the organisation Syria Campaign, which attached a petition calling on world leaders to stop the conflict. There was just

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse
Juliano Fiori

and testimony. Most of the time, we are in reactive mode; it is an emergency mission but of a different kind. Right before leaving MSF for SOS, I was Head of Mission for Syria and Iraq, overseeing operations in Mosul. The level of intensity since I started with SOS is the same. But SOS is smaller. The team on board the Aquarius [the rescue ship operated by SOS and MSF] never includes more than fifteen people and our budget is only 4 million euros. It is mobilisation on land, rather than operational issues at sea, that take most time. JF: How has SOS

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

that the major Western powers have been complicit in creating (think Vietnam, Congo, Cambodia, Iraq, Syria, to name just a few). All of which confronts humanitarians with an existential choice. How might they function in a world which doesn’t have liberal institutions at its core? Human rights activists struggle given they rely on broad international agreement – treaties, customary law, courts, Western foreign-policy support – to do their work. Is humanitarianism any different? The version of global humanitarianism with which we are familiar might not

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Emmanuelle Strub

point was the hardest to achieve, because it required directorate involvement. While everyone agreed in principle that it is essential to prepare for managing a crisis, when it came time to do it, no one was available. It wasn’t until 2013, when two ACTED employees were kidnapped in an area of Syria where we were also present, that the directorate and Board of Directors met to set up a crisis unit. Task Two: Developing a Risk-Management Methodology for the Field From

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Fabrice Weissman

Introduction Every year, dozens of national and international aid workers are kidnapped. Like governments and companies, most humanitarian organisations handle these events with the utmost secrecy. While Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), for example, publicly confirmed the abduction and release of staff members kidnapped in Kenya in 2011 and Syria in 2014, 1 the organisation made no effort to mobilise public opinion as a way to gain their freedom. Nor did it provide any

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs