Palestinian Refugees. (Introduction)

By Bahdi, Reem | Refuge, February 2003 | Go to article overview

Palestinian Refugees. (Introduction)


Bahdi, Reem, Refuge


"Due recognition," writes Charles Taylor, "is not just a courtesy we owe people. It is a vital human need." (1) The history of Palestinian refugees is very much about the vital yet elusive quest for recognition. Palestinian refugees have struggled to be heard and understood since approximately one-half of the Palestinian population was displaced from historic Palestine in 1948. Though they remain scattered around the world, Palestinian refugees have steadfastly refused to allow their individual or collective identities to be swept into the dustbin of history.

Refuge's decision to dedicate this volume to Palestinian refugees represents a scholarly landmark in Canada. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first Canadian journal to focus an issue on Palestinian refugees. With this fact in mind, the editors of Refuge had two goals in bringing together the authors represented in this volume. First, we sought to create a space where Palestinian refugee voices might be heard. Second, we sought to create a place where contested narratives and policies can be examined. Taken collectively, the papers that comprise this volume testify that recognition is indeed more than a due courtesy we owe people. Recognition is intimately connected to identity, narrative, time, space, power, justice, and nation.

Hillel Cohen focuses on identity, narrative, time, space, and power with his examination of the policies governing the lives of Palestinian refugees who remained within Israel after 1948. Although they eventually took up Israeli citizenship, many of the displaced who remain within Israel have not cast off their refugee or Palestinian identities. Cohen documents how Palestinian history and geography was obliterated from Israeli textbooks in an attempt to obliterate "Palestinianness" from the minds of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. He also points to ways in which the Israeli national identity is inextricably linked with denial of Palestinian identity. Such denial, however, has proven impossible in part because it has met with resistance within Palestinian communities who have demanded recognition of their complex identities.

While Cohen writes from a perspective that is external to the Palestinian refugee experience, Mahmoud Issa situates himself squarely within it. A son of Palestinian refugees, Issa's roots are in Lubya, a small Gallilee village that was demolished in 1948 when its Palestinian inhabitants were uprooted and dispersed. Drawing on interviews with over seven hundred individuals as well as archive material, Issa documents the narrative of Lubya's refugees. He concludes that "for teenagers, the middle-aged, and the elderly alike, Lubya is an identical central image, a theoretical and subconscious point of reference, a cultural framework, and a past and present mental image that shapes, inspires, and impacts their personal lives today." At the same time that Issa's paper documents the Lubyans' "struggle to preserve the history of the self against the ravages of time and forgetfulness," it also clearly participates in that struggle.

Mohamed Kamel Dorai builds on the themes of geography, identity, and history. His study reveals how Palestinian identities, developed in local Palestinian space, transcend both time and state borders to endure as transnational migratory networks. Specifically, his paper analyzes how Palestinian refugees living in Lebanese camps have used migration to develop new forms of solidarity with Palestinian communities scattered in different regions of the world. Dorai's work identifies the extent to which local identity structures such as village and familial groupings intersect with and negotiate the increasingly complicated social, temporal, and spatial borders of our globalized word.

While Dorai focuses on the structures that allow Palestinians to exchange information and resources between them, Catherine Burwell deals with Palestinian attempts to control the information that is conveyed about them. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Palestinian Refugees. (Introduction)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.