Junior Research Fellow in History, Dr Suzan Meryem Rosita Kalayci has been awarded £2,500 for her project Refugee Children: Now and Then

31st January 2019

Pembroke Junior Research Fellow in History, Dr Suzan Meryem Rosita Kalayci has been awarded £2,500 from the University of Oxford’s Public Engagement Research Seed Fund for her project Refugee Children: Now and Then.

This project will complement her ongoing postdoctoral research project, as well as her current book on the making of modern humanitarianism in the Eastern Mediterranean. Departing from the format of traditional histories on the subject, Thus makes us orphans all intends to tell the story of humanitarian intervention and relief during WWI through the diaries, letters, and oral testimonies of Armenian war children.

Dr Kalayci hopes to encourage links between historians and humanitarian practitioners, in the belief that close association between the two will be of mutual benefit through this pilot project. The history of modern humanitarianism is full of parallels with the present and so is capable of offering insights into the challenges that relief work faced in the past as well as providing information on how humanitarianism has evolved over time and in a global perspective. The project also hopes to transcend the boundary between academic institutions and engagement with the wider community through shared research.

“Being an engaged scholar in today’s world is important and I wanted to do something in Oxford and at Pembroke,” Suzan told us. “Back in Istanbul, I initiated a back-to-school project helping Syrian families to enlist their children in Turkish State schools, providing them with homework support and Turkish-language help at AD.DAR, a Community Centre for Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Istanbul I helped to build up. The programme began with one child, and soon, over 60 Syrian children became enrolled on the programme. The project was so successful that we were approached by local municipalities, providing advice on how to implement similar projects in different districts.”

For more information on Refugee Children: Now and Then and how to get involved or help with the project, please contact Suzan, or visit the AD.DAR donations page here.

This project is part of the Globalising and Localising the Great War (GLGW) research network based in the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. To find out more about the ground breaking work of scholars affiliated with GLGW, click here.

Dr Suzan Kalayci
Dr Suzan Kalayci