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What Future Now? The Palestinian Refugees and the Arab Uprisings

Mar 15,19:30, 2013

During times of turmoil and upheaval in the Arab world, the political vulnerability of Palestinian refugee communities is exacerbated in myriad ways. Precedents were set in Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya and Iraq, and the Arab uprisings have been no exception. The wars first in Libya and later in Syria have now opened new chapters for the Palestinian refugee communities in both countries. This podium discussion asked, where were the Arab uprisings after two years of revolutions, wars and ongoing upheaval? How have Palestinian refugees been impacted by these uprisings? Today, with approximately five million refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Palestinian refugees comprise the world’s largest refugee population. They continue to be unable to exercise the right – provided for in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 – to return to their homes and lands in the state of Israel. Most continue to live in Arab states or under Israeli occupation, while a small minority are internally displaced within the state of Israel. What is the future now for Palestinian refugees in view of the uprisings and the Palestinians’ six-decade-old unresolved statelessness?

Anaheed Al-Hardan is a sociologist and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the ICI Berlin. Her research focuses on Palestinian refugees, with recent publications on refugees’ social movements, decolonial research methodologies in refugee studies and collective memories of the Nakba. She is currently writing a book on memories of the 1948 Nakba in the Palestinian refugee community in Syria.

Fatma Kassem-Agbaria is an independent sociologist currently lecturing at Sakhnin College in the Galilee. Her research interests are in the field of gender studies, with a focus on mechanisms of power and control, memory and conflict resolution. She has published on Palestinian Bedouin women, education, gender and conflict resolution. Her latest publication is Palestinian Women: Narrative Histories and Gendered Memories (Zed Books, 2011)

Rosemary Sayigh is an anthropologist and oral historian living in Lebanon. Her work has focused on Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and in segments of historic Palestine. She is the author of Palestinians: From Peasants to Revolutionaries (Zed Books, 1979), Too Many Enemies: The Palestinian Experience in Lebanon (Zed Books, 1994), and the e-Book Voices: Palestinian Women Narrate Displacement.

Time: 15 March 2013, 19:30 pm
: ICI Berlin
In English

An ICI Berlin Discussion in collaboration with the Zentrum Moderner Orient

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