This project addresses the resettlement of Syrian refugees in São Paulo and Toronto from a comparative perspective. We base our comparison on three dimensions: government policies, host society and co-ethnic community. To achieve this objective, we will study the Private Sponsorship Program in Canada. The main hypothesis is that sponsors help Private Sponsored Refugees (PSRs) to find jobs, housing and gain access to public services. As a consequence, we contend that they incorporate faster in Toronto than in São Paulo. Moreover, we address the role that the co-ethnic community and faith-based organizations have in their incorporation process. In addition, we compare how refugees are received by the host society and whether they are prejudiced against or not. We hypothesize that Christian Syrians resettle faster than Muslim Syrians, because they face less prejudice and have the support of a historical Syrian community. Finally, one of the aims of this project is to study the differences between self-employment of Syrians in both cities. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are combined for this research. Statistics are relevant for providing a profile of these refugees. However, we focus on qualitative methods, which consist of carrying out interviews with refugees, professionals who work for the Syrians, sponsors of the PSRs, the Syrian-Lebanese community members and academic experts in this subject. We compare Syrian refugees with different social backgrounds (religion, sex, marital status, education, length of stay and occupation) to find out to what extent these variables influence their pathways of incorporation.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: