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History Talk: Road to Europe - The 2015 Migration Crisis

Photo by Josh Zakary
Syrian refugees in Vienna, Austria, September 2015.

Over the past months, the news media has presented dramatic scenes of desperate people trying to reach Europe by embarking on flimsy boats in Turkey and Greece, crossing barbed wire fences in Bulgaria and Hungary, catching rides in overcrowded trains in Macedonia, and sleeping in public squares in Serbia and elsewhere. But many more refugees find themselves in Middle Eastern countries like Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon. This is hardly the first time that Europe or the Middle East has experienced mass migration. And all of the migrants in these two regions are but a small proportion of the total number of migrants across the globe. Locals are divided; while some greet the refugees with water, blankets, and toys, others utter ugly words, emphasize their own economic vulnerability, or simply turn their eyes away. Join guests Theodora Dragostinova, Robin Judd, and Steven Hyland as they discuss today’s refugee and migrant crisis in not only Europe but in the Middle East, too—all within the much larger context of global migration history.

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