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The Lessons of Atmeh

posted on October 13, 2014

In The Virginia Quarterly Review, Joshua Hersh reports on Atmeh, the neglected and overcrowded Syrian refugee camp located just near the Turkish border. Hersh writes, “Atmeh’s proximity to Turkey, where the government runs a facility for Syrians that the New York Times described as the ‘perfect refugee camp,’ makes the disparity in conditions particularly tough to reconcile.” Discord in the camp, due to low supply levels and religious extremism, may have led to the kidnapping of Yakzan Shishakly, Atmeh’s unofficial manager, in the summer of 2013. Though the kidnapping only lasted a few hours, the message was clear: “Once the site of dedicated volunteers seeking to ameliorate misery, it had devolved into an arena for warlords and racketeers,” Hersch writes of Atmeh.

Read at Virginia Quarterly Review