Mahmoud Reza MirlotfI Hasanali Jahantigh


Purpose- One of the key challenges in the border areas of Sistan is the existence of different ethnic groups and nationalities with different sense of place and identity belonging. The ethnic and national differences has created a turbulent and chaotic landscape in border villages of Sistan and caused a lot of damages to the sense of place and identity in affected areas. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the Afghans and the sense of place in the border villages of Sistan.
Design/methodology/approach- The research method is descriptive -analytical and is based on library research and survey. The sample consisted of 31 villages inhabited by Afghans with 3669 households. A sample of 347 households were selected using Cochran's formula and were interviewed based on random sampling. The data were analyzed using the Spearman correlation coefficient in SPSS Software.
Findings- The results of the test show that there is a significant relationship between the number of Afghan residents and sense of place in the studied area with a confidence level of 99 percent, so that by increasing Afghan households, sense of place decreases in the rural area and by reducing households in the rural area, the sense of place will increase. According to the results, it can be expressed that informal settlement of Afghans caused a reduction of sense of place in border villages of Sistan.
Research limitations/implications- One of the restrictions on the way of the research can be lack of accurate statistics on the informal settlers living in the border villages of Sistan. Among the strategies that can be offered to improve regional identity, is a complete identification of the illegal migrants, the setting of firm rules for their control, and the monitoring of the security agencies on immigration.
Practical implications- In order to solve this problem, the exact number of immigrants (illegal) settled in the area should be counted and according to law, they should be either granted citizenship or returned to Afghanistan. In the meantime, the best way is to grant citizenship to immigrants because evidence suggests that the majority of refugees return to their country after being fired from Iran. Accordingly, it is possible to confirm Afghan refugees by granting Iranian citizenship, national identity, and immigration in the destination country (Iran).
Originality/value- So far, no attention to the sense of place of cross-border migrants (Afghans) to Iran, especially in border villages. Nevertheless, the present study has authenticity and practical value. Users of the results of this research are rural and regional planners, provincial government of Sistan and Baluchistan and its departments and agencies under the Department of Afghan citizens in the country.

Article Details

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How to Cite
Mahmoud Reza, M., & Hasanali, J. (2018). A Survey of the Sense of Spatial Belonging to a Destination Country among Afghan Transnational Immigrants (Case Study: Border Villages in Sistan). Journal of Research and Rural Planning, 7(3), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.22067/jrrp.v5i4.64517
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