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AUC Press book Time and Power in Azraq Refugee Camp by Melissa Gatter, has won the 2023 Alixa Naff Book Prize in Migration Studies

AUC Press Book “Time And Power in Azraq Refugee Camp” Awarded The 2023 Alixa Naff Book Prize

February 26, 2024, Cairo – The American University in Cairo Press book Time and Power in Azraq Refugee Camp by Melissa Gatter (AUC Press, 2023), has won the 2023 Alixa Naff Book Prize in Migration Studies. The Alixa Naff Prize is awarded every year by the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies and it recognizes outstanding scholarly studies from any discipline focusing on Middle East and North African migration and diasporas. 

The selection committee describes Time and Power as “a timely, innovative, and theoretically sophisticated contribution to studies of displacement.” Based on Gatter’s ethnographic fieldwork, which was conducted in the Azraq refugee camp in 2017–2018, Time and Power probes the politics of time and “pairs the question of power with that of temporality,” an effective approach that, one committee member notes, “helps deliver insights into how both refugees and aid workers navigated disrupted futures and everyday emergencies.”

“What an honor it is to be awarded the 2023 Alixa Naff Prize in Migration Studies, named for Alixa Naff’s pioneering work in recording immigrant histories, for a book shaped by the stories of refugees in Azraq camp,” said Gatter on receiving the news. “I would like to thank the selection committee for this recognition and for carrying on Alixa’s legacy through this prize. I hope that this prize further amplifies the refugee and aid worker voices that shape Time and Power and are calling for a more just world for people on the move,” she added. 

Gatter is a lecturer in anthropology and international development at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Her research centers on the anthropology of forced migration and development in the Middle East, particularly the intersection of time, space, and aid in refugee camps in Jordan and beyond. She has also worked and consulted for leading aid agencies in Jordan, including Save the Children and CARE International. Melissa completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2020.

“It is always an honor and a great token of appreciation when a book receives an important award,” said Veerle De Laet, AUC Press executive director, commenting on the news of the award. “All the more so when the prize-winning publication covers a sensitive and topical subject that is of great relevance and value in the current geopolitical climate of major crisis and displacement. Publishing critical research and giving a voice to the voiceless is an essential part of the AUC Press’ mission. Therefore, it is a great honor for us that the author, Melissa Gatter, entrusted us with her work.”

AUC Press is the leading English-language academic publisher in the Middle East. At present, it publishes roughly 30 new titles each year, with particular strengths in Egyptology, Arabic language learning, Middle East studies, architecture and the arts, and Arabic fiction in translation.

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Founded in 1919, The American University in Cairo (AUC) is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution of higher education and center of the intellectual, social, and cultural life of the Arab world. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions and study abroad programs. 

The University offers 39 undergraduate, 52 master’s and two PhD programs rooted in a liberal arts education that encourages students to think critically and find creative solutions to conflicts and challenges facing both the region and the world. 

An independent, nonprofit, politically non-partisan, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.