Category Archives: Sources/Related Material

SOAS Rebetiko

Rebetiko, the blues of the Greek refugees from Asia Minor, and of Turkey, is alive and well. A “Byzantine blend of the Turkish rhythms brought by the immigrant Greeks uprooted from their homes in Asia Minor with the contemporary Greek music of the twenties and thirties,” it can be heard Monday nights haunting the corridors and the JCR (Junior Common Room) of SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies, in London. I went to listen to the Rebetiko band this week and was amazed at the quality of sound and soulful singing.

SOAS Rebetiko
SOAS Rebetiko

The band SOAS Rebetiko describe themselves as follows:

“The Famous SOAS Rebetiko Band plays Rebetiko music of Greece, a broad genre of urban songs and instrumental music which developed in and around the major port areas of Eastern Mediterranean — Smyrna/Izmir, Istanbul, Syros, Piraeus and Thessaloniki.” 

I listened to this music growing up in a community of first- and second-generation refugees from Asia Minor, in Athens, and hearing it being played again, reminded me of the depth of feeling expressed through it; through the songs of loss and mourning, but also resistance, survival and life affirmation sang by the refugees.

Sources and Related Material

I have listed below some of my “Sources and Related Material” for Alexandrias 40: In the Shade of the Lemon Tree. I will be updating this list, so please, come back for more!


Alice James, 2001, ‘Memories of Anatolia: generating Greek refugee identity,’ in

Thalia Pandiri, 2007, ‘Narratives of Loss and Survival: Greek voices from the Asia Minor Catastrophe,’ in

Raymond Bonner, 1996, ‘Tales of Stolen Babies and Lost Identities; A Greek Scandal Echoes in New York,’ in


In Print

Bruce Clark, Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey (London: Granta Books, 2007)

Renee Hirschon, Heirs of the Greek Catastrophe: The Social Life of Asia Minor Refugees in Piraeus (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989)

Marjorie Housepian Dobkin, Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of a City (New York: Newmark Press, 1988)

Esther P Lovejoy, Certain Samaritans (New York: Macmillan, 1933)

Mark Mazower, Inside Hitler’s Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941–1944 (New Haven and London: 1993)

Mark Mazower, After the War Was Over: Reconstructing the Family, Nation, and State in Greece, 1943–1960 (Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2000)

Leyla Neyzi, ‘Remembering Smyrna/Izmir: Shared History, Shared Trauma,’ in History and Memory, Bloomington: 2008, 20:2

Arnold J Toynbee, The Western Question in Greece and Turkey: A Study in the contact of civilizations (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1922)



Louis de Bernieres, Birds without Wings (New York: Random House, 2004)

Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (London: Bloomsbury, 2002)

Ernest Hemingway, ‘On the Quai at Smyrna,’ in The Short Stories (New York: Scribner, 2003)

Nikos Kazantzakis, The Fratricides (London: Faber and Faber, 1974; 1967)

Nikos Kazantzakis, Christ Recrucified (London: Faber and Faber, 1962; 1954)

Dido Sotiriou, Farewell Anatolia (Athens, Greece: Kedros, 1991)


Theo Angelopoulos, The Weeping Meadow

Costas Ferris, Rembetiko

Elia Kazan, America America

Pantelis Voulgaris, Psychi Vathia, With Heart and Soul