Nayera Soliman: Between Home and Nation: Narratives of Suez Forced Migrants, 1967-1977

After the 1967 war between Egypt and Israel, approximately 750,000 people left the three big cities of the Suez Canal almost vacant for seven years. They lived in different parts of Egypt, especially in villages in Delta and Upper Egypt (Shakur, Mehanna, and Hopkins 2005). The aim of this project is to understand the 1967 forced migration through the stories of those who witnessed it and how they define what home is. It assumes that narratives from home(s) will help understand everyday social and political dynamics with/in and with/out Egyptian homes at this very specific political moment, the post-1967 defeat; as well as what home means to them. It is mainly based on oral history interviews with people who witnessed the 1967 war in Suez and were forced to migrate to other parts in Egypt. The interviews cover their memories, emotions and analyses of this seven-year experience, including the moment of leaving Suez, the war, the everyday conditions in the receiving cities and villages, and the moment of return.  

Nayera Soliman is currently a PhD student at Freie Universität Berlin and a Fellow of the Berlin Graduate School for Muslim Cultures and Societies. Her research project questions the concept of home through studying the 1967 forced migration from Suez Canal cities in Egypt. After having graduated from the Political Science Department of Cairo University in 2012, she received her MA degree in Political Sociology from Sorbonne University in 2013. Between 2014 and 2017, Soliman worked as Research Fellow at the Arab Forum for Alternatives in a joint-research project with the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt and Sfax University. She co-organized the first History Workshops in Egypt, Ehky ya Tarikh, to discover social and political histories of marginalized communities in Egypt through examining different sources and re-narrating them through art. Her research approaches are situated in the field of politics from below; and her research interests include social history, forced migration, education, social activism and youth.


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