The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS)
The American University in Cairo
The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) is an interdisciplinary center of the American University in Cairo (AUC). Situated at the heart of the Middle East and North Africa, it aims at furthering the scientific knowledge of the large, long-standing and more recent, refugee and migration movements witnessed in this region. But it also is concerned with questions of refugees and migration in the international system as a whole, both at the theoretical and practical levels.
CMRS functions include instruction, research, training and outreach. It offers a Master of Arts in migration and refugee studies and a graduate diploma in forced migration and refugee studies working with other AUC departments to offer diversified courses to its students. Its research bears on issues of interest to the region and beyond. In carrying it out, it collaborates with reputable regional and international academic institutions. The training activities CMRS organizes are attended by researchers, policy makers, bureaucrats and civil society activists from a great number of countries. It also provides tailor-made training programs on demand. CMRS outreach involves working with its environment, disseminating knowledge and sensitization to refugee and migration issues. It also provides services to the refugee community in Cairo and transfers its expertise in this respect to other international institutions.
The MA Degree in Migration and Refugee Studies and the Graduate Diploma in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies are both interdisciplinary programs that aim to provide graduates with critical knowledge, research methods and analytical skills of current theoretical, legal, political, economic, social, demographic and psychosocial issues in migration and refugee studies. The knowledge and skills acquired may be applied in careers within institutions such as governmental, non-governmental and international agencies, as well as universities, research organizations and private corporations dealing with the multitude of issues connected with migration and refugee movements.
Applicants seeking admission to either degree, should have an undergraduate degree of high standing (equivalent of a B grade or higher) within the fields of Humanities and/or Social Sciences and meet the university’s language proficiency. Pre-requisites courses may be assigned, depending on the individual student’s academic background.
For more information on Admission procedure, please contact Office of Graduate Studies and Research at AUC at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the University Admission Website: http://www.aucegypt.edu/admissions/grad
The MA requires the successful completion of 8 courses (24 credit hours), five required core courses plus three elective courses. The Graduate Diploma requires the successful completion of 6 courses (18 credit hours), four required and two electives. The electives can be chosen from a list of electives offered by the center each semester.
All MA students must complete a thesis according to university regulations. No thesis is required for the diploma program. However, students who finish the diploma can develop it into an MA by taking the two extra required courses of the MA program and complete a thesis.
In addition, unique to the CMRS educational program is the possibility of combining a Masters in International Human Rights Law along with either the CMRS Masters or FMRS Diploma, where up to 4 courses (12 Credits) can be double counted between the two degrees.
Completion of the Masters Degree in Migration and Refugee Studies will normally take 2 years while completion of the Graduate Diploma in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies will take 1 year.
CMRS’s degrees are one of the most attractive graduates programs for international as well as Egyptian students at AUC. The geographic diversity of the students is a core strength of the program, bringing individuals together from the USA, Canada, Africa, Western Europe, as well as students from Asia and Eastern Europe. Another unique and appealing element of the program is giving students the opportunity to work with the community through Student Action for Refugees (STAR http://clubs.aucegypt.edu/star/) a student-run organization committed to working with refugees to improve their lives in Cairo by providing language and art classes and organizing activities and events that raise awareness about refugee and migrant issues.
The CMRS research work is developed along two main lines:
a. Systematic collection of information and data on migration, asylum seeking and refugees in the MENA region.
During the past three years, CMRS commissioned twelve country-case studies covering seven countries in the region and developed a regional information system including quantitative and qualitative data on migration and refugee movements in the region. This information system will serve as any entry point for research on migration and refugee in the region.
b. Conducting in depth studies on current and emerging migration and refugee issues.
In the past three years, CMRS conducted research (currently published on its website) on the following issues: the effect of the financial crisis on migrants and refugees movements, Violence among Young Sudanese men in Cairo, and child domestic workers in Cairo. In addition a research on the role of remittances on the livelihoods of Sudanese in Cairo is ongoing as well as another one entitled “Unknown remittances of Migrants died abroad” taking place in Bangladesh.
For detailed information on our research projects, visit CMRS research page on the center website http://www.aucegypt.edu/GAPP/cmrs/resaffl
Summer & Winter Short courses: Since its inception in 2000, CMRS is widely recognized for its specialized Short Courses that provide training to practitioners in the field of migration and refugees. CMRS’s most well known courses are the Introduction to Refugee Law and the Psychosocial Issues of Refugees. CMRS short courses are attended by staff from institutions working in the field, including UNHCR and IOM, etc, as well as by researchers and PhD students aiming to gain specific training for their research work.
Cairo Community Interpreter Project (CCIP) - CCIP was developed by CMRS in 2002 as a training and capacity building program to provide professional standard training in community interpretation for migrant and refugee interpreters who work in the aid agencies and other organizations that serve migrants and refugees in Egypt. CCIP’s training program has since become a role model for refugee and migration interpretation programs in other transit countries.
CCIP’s core activities include:
● 100-hour Full Course Community Interpreter Training for Migration and Refugee Settings, specific for Arabic, Amharic, Fur, Oromo, Somali, and Tigrinya languages
● 40-hour Short Course on Community Interpreter Training in Migration and Refugee Settings, non-language specific, designed for community interpreters outside Egypt
● Advanced workshops on special interpretation issues in refugee and migration
● Glossary building support for technical terminology used in refugee / migration settings
● Technical assistance in multilingual communication planning and coordination for organizations that rely on interpreters in their services and activities
CCIP has partnered with agencies and NGOs to provide community interpretation training in other countries beyond Egypt, including Turkey, Hong Kong, Tanzania, Uganda, Thailand, etc, and continues to expand partnerships in other countries, in line with CMRS’ vision to build a global perspective, while also maintaining and enhancing the advanced training levels of CCIP’s unique flagship program in Egypt.
Psycho-Social Training Institute in Cairo (PSTIC) - PSTIC was established in April 2009 by representatives from international and national organizations including CMRS to provide psychosocial and mental health support to refugees by refugees in Egypt.
PSTIC’s activities include:
● Facilitating a network of organizations, communities and individuals assisting refugees, migrants and asylum seekers to integrate the provision of mental health and psychosocial support into their activities
● Community Based Psychosocial Workers Training Courses
Level 1: 8 months / Level 2: 6 months - Didactic classroom and field based learning and supervision about individual and family psychosocial support, counseling and problem solving, crisis intervention, advocacy, referral, conflict mediation, community mobilization; graduates employed in schools, health facilities, counseling centers, and development programs assisting refugees
● Training workshops on psychosocial issues and methods of response for professional health and legal teams, community based groups and emergency response teams
● PSTIC Neighborhood Theatre Company to raise awareness about refugee issues to Egyptian communities
● PSTIC Sport Clubs
Plans for the expansion of this training model to other countries are underway.
CMRS outreach includes disseminating knowledge on migration and refugee issues beyond the university gates through its monthly seminar series, workshops, conferences, and roundtable discussions. In the coming years, CMRS continue to expand its involvement in policy dialogues through the commission of policy papers and organizing platforms for linking scholars, academics, policy makers, and practitioners in the region.
Center for Migration & Refugee Studies
Research Center Building
2nd floor, Fifth Settlement
New Cairo 11835, Egypt P.O. Box 74
MA & Diploma Programs
Ibrahim Awad, PhD
Ahsan Ullah, PhD
Senior Administrative Assistant
Research, Outreach and Training
Maysa Ayoub, MA
Cairo Community Interpreter Project (CCIP)
Nancy Baron, EdD
Psycho-Social Training Institute in Cairo (PSTIC)
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