From <i>Mohajer</i> to <i>Hamwatan</i>: The Reintegration Experiences of Second generation Afghans Returning from Pakistan and Iran

Mamiko Saito and Paula Kantor

in Dispossession and Displacement

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780197264591
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734397 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

From Mohajer to Hamwatan: The Reintegration Experiences of Second generation Afghans Returning from Pakistan and Iran

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In addition to the traumatic and post-traumatic effects migration has on young refugees, prolonged displacement poses a greater effect. It affects the young refugees’ perception of their selves, homeland and future. Reintegration of young refugees is more difficult as most of them have profound alienated feelings towards their homeland which they feel that they barely know and they often feel intense attachment to the host country in which they grew up. This chapter addresses some gaps to better understand the less visible social and emotional trajectories experienced by young Afghan refugees in the process of reintegration to their homeland. It examines the personal journeys resulting from the respondent’s experiences of Iran and Pakistan, and their return to Afghanistan: their resettlement and their remigration. It highlights the expectations and the meaning of returning and repatriation to the homeland through the perspectives of the young refugees. The first section of the chapter provides a background to the study and the approach for the selection of a target group. The next section discusses the contradictory characteristics of young Afghan refugees who grew up as refugees in Pakistan and Iran, and looks at their perceptions and expectations with regard to Afghanistan. The last sections are devoted to the discussion of the barriers to successful reintegration and the key issues which can provide support to young returning Afghans beyond material assistance.

Keywords: post-traumatic effects; traumatic effects; young refugees; prolonged displacement; reintegration; young Afghan refugees; homeland; personal journeys; resettlement; remigration

Chapter.  8100 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Migration Studies

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