How Palestinians in Syria recall their own catastrophe

Bethlehem/PNN/

AMID the slaughter of contemporary Syria, the Palestinians who have sought refuge there since 1948 still vividly recall their own Nakba (catastrophe).

A new book by Dr Anaheed al Hardan, based on interviews with first-, second- and third-generation Palestinians in Syria, looks at how the memory of forced displacement has evolved in the community’s memory, in local politics and in intellectual discourse.

Her study also critically tracks the Nakba’s changing meaning in light of Syria’s ongoing civil war.
Dr al Hardan, a Palestinian who completed her PhD in Trinity College Dublin, will launch the book with a talk at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) on Thursday, October 20th, at 7pm in the Máirtín Ui Chadhain theatre, arts block.

Her research sheds light on the enduring relevance of the Nakba among the communities it helped create, while challenging the nationalist and patriotic idea that memories of the Nakba are static and universally shared among Palestinians.

Anaheed Al-Hardan is an assistant professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies at the American University of Beirut. The book has already been shortlisted for the 2016 Middle East Monitor Palestine Book Awards.

The book launch is organised by Academics for Palestine in association with the Department of Sociology, TCD. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Academics for Palestine was founded in Ireland in 2013. Responding to the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, it campaigns to urge Irish-based academics to support the boycott, and to support Palestinian academics and students.