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Women of the Somali diaspora: refugees, resilience and rebuilding after conflict

Lewis, Joanna (2021) Women of the Somali diaspora: refugees, resilience and rebuilding after conflict. Hurst Publishers, London, UK. ISBN 9781787384811

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This book is about Somali mothers and daughters who came to Britain in the 1990s to escape civil war. Many had never left Somalia before, followed nomadic traditions, did not speak English, were bereaved and were suffering from PTSD. Their stories begin with war and genocide in the north, followed by harrowing journeys via refugee camps, then their arrival and survival in London. Joanna Lewis exposes how they rapidly recovered, mobilising their networks, social capital and professional skills. Crucial to the recovery of the now breakaway state of (former British) Somaliland, these women bore a huge burden, but inspired the next generation, with many today caught between London and a humanitarian impulse to return home. Lewis reveals three histories. Firstly, the women’s personal history, helping us to understand resilience as an individual, lived historical process that is both positive and negative, and both inter- and intra-generational. Secondly, a collective history of refugees as rebuilders, offering insight into the dynamism of the Somali diaspora. Finally, the forgotten history and hidden legacies of Britain’s colonial past, which have played a key role in shaping this dramatic, sometimes upsetting, but always inspiring story: the power of women to heal the scars of war.

Item Type: Book
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: International History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2021 07:12
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2021 23:16

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