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“Reconciling “Integration” and the Right of Return: Rethinking Palestinian Refugeehood” - News

Tuesday
August 9, 2011
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Ibrahim
Abu-Lughod Institute of International studies hosted Dr. Ruba Salih- SOAS University,
and Dr. Sophie Richter-Devroe, University of Exeter, in a roundtable discussion
presenting the preliminary results and findings of an ongoing research dealing
with the Reconciling “Integration” and the Right
of Return: Rethinking Palestinian Refugeehood.

The research project investigates Palestinian refugees’ imaginaries, practices and attitudes
towards “the right of return in Lebanon,
Jordan and the West Bank.
The research departs from classic scholarly approaches to the concept of “return”
to show how refugees in their everyday practices and lived experiences
strategies reconcile “integration” in the host country with return. 

Dr. Salih said that Palestinian refugees by virtue of their
paradoxical positionality as displaced and rooted, insiders and outsiders, expressions
of longing and belonging, here and there, are amongst the most interesting
actors of new political cultures that offer potentially emancipatory and
radically transformative political thought.

Dr.
Sophie said that the preliminary
results suggest that increasingly refugees see “integration” and “return” as
compatible and desirable and they produce political narratives to sustain and
legitimize their views and practices. Moreover, while all (refugees and
non-refugees and irrespective of age, political party affiliation, gender, etc.) agree that the right on
return is inalienable, political cultures on how to implement that right differ
starkly. Generation, in particular, plays a crucial role in how refugees think
about integration, citizenship and return.

 

 

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