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Author Topic: Looking for ideas on a paper - the origins of the Palestinian refugee problem
shaolin
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posted 02 November 2005 08:40 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So, I'm writing a paper which is to survey the academic literature on the topic. Now, I've got a fairly good handle on that part. From the standard Israeli view, to the Arab/Palestinian view, to Benny Morris and the critiques of Morris on both sides - I haven't read it all yet but I certainly know where to find it. (Though if you think you've got something 'academic' that I shoul really take a look at, I'd be happy to have it.)

However, the second part of the paper is to propose a research project to get to the 'bottom' of the debate once and for all - assuming of course that I have the time, funding and the skills! I've got no idea where to go with this. The whole thing seems a little silly for an undergraduate political science paper. In any case, I'd really love to hear any thoughts or ideas people may have.

(I'm trying really hard to post this in such a way that I don't create a thread of fights!
)

Thanks!


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 November 2005 09:34 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Have you read this:

Palestinian People : A History

Kimmerling and Migdal


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 November 2005 09:39 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm not quite sure what your looking for, but there is also Edward Said's personal memoir about growing up in Egypt as a refugee. Beautifully written.

Out of Place : A Memoir

It makes one wonder if Said might have made a career as a novelist, if his academic and political interests hadn't prevailed.


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Cueball
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posted 02 November 2005 09:47 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Also, Coyote, who used to post here might have some ideas. He did volunteer work in the West Bank. He has a blog:

http://thecoyotehowls.blogspot.com

You should be able to get in touch with him through there.


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shaolin
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posted 02 November 2005 11:11 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks for the links Cueball. I haven't read Said's memoir but would really like to - probably not until after I finish for this term though!

The whole concept of the paper seems silly to me - come up with and describe a research program that lays the issue to rest once and for all. Right, because if Morris couldn't do it I'm certainly going to be able to! I may end up just arguing that 'getting to the bottom of it' is impossible - discuss the problems with interviewing people now, the lack of access to the Arab documents, etc. Maybe I'll argue that Morris' research has been excellent and that no amount of studying the archives or anything else can put to rest an issue that is so ideologically and politically driven, so entrenched in identity...


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Cueball
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posted 02 November 2005 11:53 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well that is one of the things about the Said memoir, which is so fscinating, we learn that Said was the son of an American Babtist Arab originally from West Jerusalem family of long standing, and Marionite Christian mother from Beriut. He is taught in an Anglican school and suffers under the stigma of being a northerner (there is a specific Egyptian word for this, which I can't remember.) living among Egyptian Arabs. As the title suggests, the book is a lot about identity.

One of the most interesting things is we get a sense of how interlinked Arab culture was from Cairo, right through to Beiriut and Damascus, and the sense of what life was like without borders defining peoples "discreet" nationality before the Arab regions were first disassembled from the Ottoman Empire, and then reassembled as individual states by the British.

Said's extended family has branches in Cairo, Beriut, and Jerusalem.


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Peech
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posted 02 November 2005 11:53 PM      Profile for Peech   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
And for the flip side of the above:

The Secret War Against The Jews

Teach Kids Peace

The Israel Project

The Second Draft

Palestine Media Watch

[ 02 November 2005: Message edited by: Peech ]


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Cueball
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posted 03 November 2005 12:01 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Gee there are a lot of sites disseminating the "flip side" of the current story, aren't there? It's almost as if its the mainstream view, isn't it?

Anything more historical?

Did you ever pick up that book I suggested, Peech? Naguib Mafouz "Autumn Quail?" About the lives of Arabs living around the time of Nasser's revolution in Egypt?

[ 03 November 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


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Cueball
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posted 03 November 2005 12:09 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Naguib Mahfouz

quote:
Naguib Mahfouz (Arabic: نجيب محفوظ ) (born December 11, 1911) is an Egyptian novelist.

Naguib Mahfouz was born in the Gamaliya quarter of Cairo; he was named after Professor Naguib Pasha Mahfouz, the physician who delivered him. A longtime civil servant, Mahfouz served in the Ministry of Mortmain Endowments, then as Director of Censorship in the Bureau of Art, as Director of the Foundation for the Support of the Cinema, and, finally, as a consultant to the Ministry of Culture. During his career he has published more than 30 novels. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1988.

Many of his novels were first published in serialized form, including Midaq Alley and Children of Gebelawi.

Children of Gebelawi (1959), one of Mahfouz's best known works, has been banned in Egypt for alleged blasphemy. In 1989, after the fatwa for apostasy against Salman Rushdie, a blind Egyptian theologian, Omar Abdul-Rahman, told a journalist that if Mahfouz had been punished for writing this novel, Rushdie would not have dared publish his. Sheikh Omar has always maintained that this was not a fatwa, but in 1994 some extremists, believing that it had been one, attempted to assassinate the 82-year-old novelist outside his Cairo home. He now lives under constant bodyguard protection.

US trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas titled a song on his 2001 album Witness "Mahfouz". The 25-minute piece features singer Tom Waits reading an excerpt from Mahfouz's works.



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Peech
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posted 03 November 2005 12:15 AM      Profile for Peech   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
There is some information about Jewish Refuges post1948
Jewish Refuges
And some interesting information on post and pre 1947 from a Zionist perspective about Arab Jewish Refuges:
Arab Jewish Refuges

There is more about European Jewish Refuges which I will hunt for. Good luck with the project.
And Cue: no I haven't looked at the book yet, thanks for reminding me.


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deBeauxOs
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posted 03 November 2005 12:26 AM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
posted by shaolin: ... However, the second part of the paper is to propose a research project to get to the 'bottom' of the debate ...
The point is probably to demonstrate that, given a familiarity with the historical, socio-political and theoretical documentation, you can approach the situation by thinking outside the box. Thus, many of the resources suggested above are worth perusing and the links noted, as web resources.

Here is one rarely mentioned in the mainstream: The Israeli Refusnik Movement - From Conscientious Objection to a Nonviolent Peaceforce


From: missing in action | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 03 November 2005 12:32 AM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I understand what you're saying deBeauxOs, but it's specifically looking at the origins of the problem - what happened between 1947-1949 (which of course has a huge political impact in terms of the right of return...or lack thereof).

I wish there was more scope in the way the question is phrased to be able to think outside the box!


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deBeauxOs
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posted 03 November 2005 12:42 AM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
posted by shaolin: ... it's specifically looking at the origins of the problem - what happened between 1947-1949 (which of course has a huge political impact in terms of the right of return...or lack thereof).
So, what is the point of this hypothetical research project that you are asked to develop? Would the purpose be to explore a contemporary solution to this historically circumscribed problem? Or do you have to stay within the parameters defined by the prof?

[ 03 November 2005: Message edited by: deBeauxOs ]


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shaolin
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posted 03 November 2005 01:02 AM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The point, apparently, is to put to rest the actual historical details of what happened to make the Palestinians leave their homes. Did the Yishuv have plans for a mass transfer prior to 1948? Did the Palestinians leave voluntarily? Were there forced explusions? The answers are linked to each side's political claims, so to actually be able to fashion an accurate answer would be of great value.

[ 03 November 2005: Message edited by: shaolin ]


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deBeauxOs
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posted 03 November 2005 01:16 AM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
posted by shaolin: ... The answers are linked to each side's political claims, so to actually be able to fashion an accurate answer would be of great value.
Mmmm, well it sounds to me that you are following the path of accuracy and knowledge, as difficult and challenging as it may be. From your thoughtful choice of words, I sense your careful commitment to a fair exploration and exposition of each side's claims. Which is probably the point of the paper, to assess your skills and ability in doing the research then presenting it in a balanced and coherent manner.

From: missing in action | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 03 November 2005 02:41 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
When I used to do academic research on Palestinian issues I found I got more of a feel for the subject by going beyond scholarly writing, and reading related literary writing as well.

Fawaz Turki's The Disinherited was marvellous.

Ghassan Khanifani's Men in the Sun is necessary reading.

I'll have to look up a couple of other titles and get back to this.


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shaolin
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posted 03 November 2005 09:38 AM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wish I had more time on this (always the problem when you're taking five courses and writing at least five papers all at once, eh?) - I'd love to delve into some of the literary stuff. I do appreciate the titles though: I'm done my degree in December and am formulating a great reading list to occupy myself with!
From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged

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