Afghan migrants in Iranian Baluchistan: adaptation to the Sarhaddi realities
Vahé Boyajian (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences, Armenia)
Paper short abstract:
The presentation focuses on certain aspects of the everyday life of Afghan refugees and migrants in the Sarhadd region of Iranian Sistan and Baluchistan province. An attempt is made to highlight the challenges the refugees face in the process of adaptation to the social realities in a foreign environment.
Paper long abstract:
The presentation focuses on certain aspects of the everyday life of Afghan refugees and migrants in the Sarhadd region of Iranian Sistan and Baluchistan province. It is based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in the Sarhadd region of the abovementioned province in Iran in November-December, 2015, and October-November 2014. An attempt is made to highlight the challenges the refugees face in the process of adaptation to the social realities in a foreign environment. During the process of the legalization of their stay in the Iranian province, the Afghan refugees face bureaucratic protractions. Many of them, deprived of any kind of identification documents, face the options either to be expelled back to Afghanistan, or, overcome the hardships of obtaining permission to stay. The Iranian state policy exercised in this regard is one to distribute the refugees and the migrants in various inland provinces of the country with a warrant not to leave their location for a certain period. Those who somehow manage to settle in Sarhadd region frequently find themselves in a hostile situation. They face the hardest ever challenge of integration into the Baluchi society where the social relations are regulated by tribal and clan priorities, spatial connections and segmentary lineage system on one hand, and the state administrative leverages, on the other. The derogatory attitude of the Baluch tribesmen towards the Afghans is often based on the ethnic affiliation of the migrants: most of them are not of Pashtun background, with whom the Baluch share almost identical behavioral code.
Migrants in the provinces: the adaptive potential of the province compared to the megapolis