DAMASCUS - In No Man's Land, Middle East expert Willem Staes travels across Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq. During nine trips between August 2021 and March 2023, he will see for himself how Syrian refugees find themselves in the most hopeless situation since the Syrian revolution in 2011.

They are trapped in an invisible "no-man's land," between hammer and anvil: a country to which they cannot return, neighboring countries that no longer want to receive them, and European countries that increasingly violently deny them access. Their situation was further aggravated by the earthquakes of Feb. 6, 2023, which left a trail of death and destruction throughout the region.

An uncomfortable truth forces itself upon us: the European "model" of reception in the region is creaking and grinding at the seams. It is increasingly a castle in the sky, a mirage that some hope to see, but which does not exist in reality. Meanwhile, the total lack of solutions for Syrian refugees sowed the seeds for a new refugee crisis, with large numbers of Syrians trying to reach Europe again.

Willem Staes

Willem Staes (1990) works as a Middle East expert at 11.11.11.
€4.000 allocated on 13/10/2021.


  • Titel: Niemandsland
    Subtitel: Een reis dwars door de Syriëregio
    Auteur: Willem Staes
    Uitgeverij Ertsberg
    ISBN: 9789464750300
    Verschijningsdatum: Oktober 2023
    Aantal pagina's: 288p