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Lectures

 

2012-PE1215 Lecture:

December 15, 2012

Topic:

Poetics and Politics of Spatial Practices in the Palestinian Refugee Camps

Speaker:

Dr. Khaldoun Bshara, Director of RIWAQ Center

Summary:

In this lecture, Dr. Bshara discussed the spatial practices on the grounds of the camps. Based on fieldwork research he conducted in Al-Jalazon refugee camp, Dr. Bshara concluded that it is not exceptional or out of the ordinary to see refugee camps, because these camps have transformed into cities. The Palestinian refugee camps are the result of long and ongoing spatial processes. The refugees have been constructing houses and businesses to accommodate their needs. With the fourth generation of refugees born in exile, the spaces of the camps have become fully utilized as a living space. For instance, camps have become overcrowded, highly built, and urbanized spaces. Reading into the history of the Palestinian camps and into the stories of the refugees, Dr. Bshara realized that Palestinian refugee camps constitute a humanitarian and political 'troubling’ phenomenon.

He explains how refugee camps, with taking Al-Jalazon camp as a case study, have evolved into habitat, and temporary shelters have developed into permanent living spaces. Moreover, Dr. Bshara shed light on the “micro-sophisticated-spatial practices” which are historically and politically situated within the real estate industry driven by high demands and political conditions created in post Oslo era. He also emphasized that the materiality and symbolism of refugee camps are intermingled to represent a longing for the missing self (the village and home of origin) while recreating reminders of these through the material practices.


 

2012-PE1212 Lecture:

December 12, 2012

Topic:

Palestine as a Non-Member State at the UN: The Importance and Consequences

Speaker:

Dr. Asem Khalil, Dean of the faculty of Law and Public Administration and Dr. Husam Zumlot, Professor of Strategic Studies at the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies

Summary:

Dr. Abdul Karim Al-Bargouthi, Director of IALIIS, opened the lecture by referring to the interest of IALIIS in discussing issues that fall under the national and intellectual arena. He also emphasized the importance of constructive dialogue, respecting the minds of the public and seeking to provide information based on scientific basis.

From his side, Dr. Zumlot based his discussion on the status of Palestine as a non member state into three schools: overly optimistic, overly pessimistic, and the last and most important school is the critical which seeks to understand crucial issues and explore its weaknesses and strengths.

Dr. Zumlot also spoke about the problems which the Palestinian Authority faces from the beginning of its establishment, which have made the PA more vulnerable. One of the main problems it faces is the issue of unilateral recognition, the absence of a clear national and political reference, in addition to the initial political and economic agreements which have contributed in transforming the PA from the nuclease of the state to a burden on the future Palestinian state. Also throughout the negotiations process the insistence of Israel on refusing the idea of a Palestinian state and considers that at the most what can be offered for the PA is self determination, which has contributed in the decline of the PA’s popular support.

From his side, Dr. Asem Khalil expressed his personal opinion which refuses accepting Palestine as a non member observer state at the UN. He stated that his opinion has not yet been scientifically proven, but it represents the thoughts and questions of many citizens.

Dr. Khalil sees that the issue of statehood is not at the center of the Palestinian question. The main concern of Palestinians is liberation, thus the establishment of a state is not an alternative for this demand. He further adds that: “I don’t see how heading to the UN contributes in establishing a full Palestinian state form a legal point of view, it is more of a mass popular disguise that has been given more attention than it deserves.”

Dr. Khalil also expressed his fears of the establishment of this state on the refugee question, the issue of double citizenship, and resistance.


 

2012-PE1107 Lecture:

November 7, 2012

Topic:

The post-war makeover fantasy: Neo-liberalism, A historicism, and the political economy of war to peace transitions

Speaker:

Professor Chris Cramer a development economist from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

Summary:   

Professor Cramer began by explaining how there is a global discourse and organization change around the so called “liberal peace”. He also discussed that there are three sets of ideas combined with four rationales for international actors: liberal peace thesis, security development axis, and rediscovery of the state. Regarding aid, Professor Cramer discussed how aid in a post conflict society is more effective than any other aid. He also shed light on the political, economic and socio transitions of post war countries.

He also mentioned the liberal interpretation of war, in which if the economy of a country is democratized and liberalized that country will remain in peace with other countries; because development is seen as conflict prevention. Professor Cramer believes that there are three central challenges that should be dealt with: how to pay for peace, how to produce peace and how to work for peace. He then ended the lecture by claiming that fiscal policy is very critical to produce peace


 

2012-PE0927 Lecture:

September 27, 2012

Topic:

Sabra and Shatila: One of the Israeli strategies to end the Palestinian Camp

Speaker:

Dr. Saleh Abdel-Jawad, Historian and Professor of Political Science at Birzeit University

Summary:

This lecture was held in memory of the thirtieth anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre and during this lecture Dr. Abdel-Jawad reviewed two documentaries on the heinous massacre that was carried out for three days (from Thursday September 16, 1982 until Saturday September 18).

Dr. Abdel-Jawad mentioned that most of the Arab literature reveals 1948 only as a tragedy and catastrophe, and depicts Palestinians as a victim. Nevertheless, he argues that there is another side of the 148 Nakba which is the heroic role Palestinians played, where for instance in 1948 3000 Israelis were killed. Moreover, Dr. Abdel Jawad spoke about the Sabra and Shatila massacre and the forms of collective memory, where he differentiated between collective memory and group memory. He also noted that the massacre is only one of the Israeli series related to getting rid of the demographic existence of Palestinian refugees in Lebanese refugee camps, which Israel conceives as areas too close to its borders. He also mentioned that the Lahid army which executed the massacre are a secret force linked to the Israeli forces, thus Dr. Saleh Abdel-Jawad holds Israel full accountability for the massacre.

Dr. Abdel-Jawad concluded the lecture by discussing how during the massacre IDF refused to allow survivors of the massacre from leaving, through closing the Eastern and Western borders

 


 

2012-PE0321 Lecture:

March 21, 2012

Topic:

Memory and Political Imagination: The French Resistance and Oral History

 

Speaker:

Sudhir Hazareesingh professor of political science at Balliol College,  University of Oxford

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Output:

professor Hazareesingh discussed the oral history of the French resistance in the 1940’s, he also shed light on how we use oral history in the case of the French resistance. Moreover, he referred to some of the literature that on the gathering and organizing of oral testimonies concerning the French resistance, from Henri Michel to H.R Kedward.

Professor Hazareesingh also showed how resistance became the dominant narrative, yet it was not told in one voice. For instance, the first and most prominent narrative of the French resistance was that of De Gaulle himself. Nonetheless, the story of Nicole, a participant in the French resistance, was very different from De Gaulle’s. Likewise, oral history assumes that people are capable of transporting themselves to the past, completely wiping out their present, however wiping out the present something which is not possible. The massive role women played during the French resistance was mentioned, particularly how they undermine and minimize their own role. 

Audio File

 


 

 

2010-PE1106 Lecture:

November 6, 2010

Topic:

UNRWA and Palestinian refugees after its 60th anniversary

 

Speaker:

LexTakkenberg

Summary:

The FMRU at the IALIIS hosted LexTakkenberg - Chief, Ethics Office at theUnited Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Takkenberg presented an overview of the UNRWA and Palestinian refugees after its 60th anniversary.

During the course of his presentation, he pondered the most vital actions of the UNRWA during the six decades of its existence and its vital role in providing assistance to millions of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

He also presented the recent challenges which the UNRWA is encountering whether on the domestic level in the host countries or its international financial situation.

A special focus was amplified on the research needs of the UNRWA and the participation of the civil society especially the academic and research institutions.

 


 

 

2010-PE0322 Lecture:

March 22, 2010

 

Topic:

Are Palestinian Refugees Stateless? An International Law Perspective.

Speaker:

John B. Quigley 

Summary:

The FMRU at the IALIIS, Birzeit University, hosted a lecture by Professor John B. Quigley, President’s Club Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University.

 

The Title of the lecture was “Are Palestinian Refugees Stateless? An International Law Perspective.” 

In his lecture, Professor Quigley dealt with the concept of a Palestinian State from a historical perspective.

At the core of his argument, Professor Quigley made the assertion that a PalestinianState has been in existence ever since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and the takeover by the British Mandate in Palestine.

He added that the presence of this state has been proven by various mechanisms and dynamics.

He further supplied abundant evidence including case laws to amplify his argument that Palestinian people were not stateless ever since the introduction of the British Mandate.

Quigley further argues against the notion that Palestinian refugees are stateless.

In fact, Professor Quigley presented a solid case for Palestinian statehood under which Palestinian refugees could seek recognition as citizens of an existing state that was established as early as the presence of the British Mandate in Palestine.

Based on the arguments presented by Professor Quigley, one can argue, either implicitly or explicitly, that Palestinians in general, and Palestinian refugees in particular are not considered stateless, but rather citizens of an existing state, albeit a statehood in abeyance.

 

 

 

 

 

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