By Diana Allan
A few sixty-five years after 750,000 Palestinians fled or have been expelled from their place of birth, the preferred notion of Palestinian refugees nonetheless emphasizes their fierce dedication to exercise their "right of return." Exile has come to appear a type of old amber, keeping refugees in a lifestyle that ended unexpectedly with "the catastrophe" of 1948 and their camps—inhabited now for 4 generations—as mere zones of ready. whereas lowering refugees to symbols of steadfast single-mindedness has been politically expedient to either side of the Arab-Israeli clash it comes at an immense price for refugees themselves, overlooking their person stories and aspirations and obscuring their collective tradition in exile.
Refugees of the Revolution is an evocative and provocative exam of lifestyle in Shatila, a refugee camp in Beirut. demanding universal assumptions approximately Palestinian id and nationalist politics, Diana Allan offers an immersive account of camp adventure, of communal and financial existence in addition to internal lives, monitoring how citizens relate throughout generations, take care of poverty and marginalization, and plan––pragmatically and speculatively—for the long run. She supplies unheard of cognizance to credits institutions, debt family, electrical energy bartering, emigration networks, and NGO provisions, arguing detailed Palestinian id is being cast within the crucible of neighborhood pressures.
What would it not suggest for the generations born in exile to come to a spot they by no means left? Allan addresses this question via rethinking the connection among domestic and place of birth. In so doing, she unearths how refugees are themselves pushing again opposed to identities rooted in a basically nationalist discourse. This groundbreaking e-book bargains a richly nuanced account of Palestinian exile, and provides new chances for the way forward for the community.
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Extra info for Refugees of the Revolution: Experiences of Palestinian Exile (Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and I)
On this particular day, a battered minibus was parked outside the entrance, and I could hear foreign voices over the early-morning din of the camp. Inside, a group of middle-aged Americans, mainly women, were seated around a small table littered with pamphlets about Najdeh’s work. Mazen, a young Palestinian American man working with a USbased right-of-return organization, was midway through a presentation on the history of the 1948 expulsion. I found a chair at the back of the room and sat with Umm Qasim, one of the center’s coordinators.
Public remembrance, I suggest, is not simply or primarily a medium of political claims making or cultural transmission but also has a practical function in the camp economy. My case studies indicate the workings of a pragmatic agency on the part of refugees, who use commemoration to generate investment in the very institutions that have come to form the locus of social agency in the camps—schools, NGOs, cultural centers, libraries, and so on. The chapter concludes by considering the extent to which these forms of solidarity may be contributing to a trivialization of memory and cultural practice.
My approach builds on recent work in the social sciences exploring the existential dimension of refugee experience as well as the nexus between social, economic, political, and spatial marginalization (Ager 1999; Agier 2008; Bauman 2002, 2007; Chatty 2010; Latif 2008; Malkki 1995a; Nyers 2006; Sanyal 2010). ”49 The cost of all this has been a set of ethnographic blind spots regarding social life, rootedness, and agency in the camps. This ethnography examines questions of identity and belonging less through discursive formulations than through lived experience.
Refugees of the Revolution: Experiences of Palestinian Exile (Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and I) by Diana Allan