Anaheed Al-Hardan is an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies at the American University of Beirut. She is the author of the award-winning Palestinians in Syria: Nakba Memories of Shattered Communities (Columbia University Press, 2016), joint winner of the 2016 Academic Book Award at the London Palestine Book Awards.
Her work has appeared in the Journal of Palestine Studies, Qualitative Inquiry and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Her current book project examines Arab decolonial theory within the context of south-south philosophies of liberation and decolonization.
Memories of Palestine:
The Nakba and the Palestinian Refugees in Syria
ICI Project 2011-13
The establishment of the state of Israel on Palestine in 1948 led to the destruction of Palestinian society and the uprooting of the majority of Palestinians who have been denied the right to return to their lands since. Remembered as the Nakba, or Catastrophe, by Palestinians, this monumental event was in the early years a central component of pan-Arab nationalist thought and the re-emergence of the Palestinian national liberation movement in exile. More recently, the Nakba has been relegated to a secondary place in the Palestinian Authority’s state-building project, and the right of return of the refugees expelled in 1948 and their descendents all but abandoned.
This project explores the intellectual, political and popular memory trajectory of the Nakba over the past six-decades, examining its transformation, commemoration and imagination in the little known about Palestinian refugee community in Syria. Set against new activist commemorative practices and heterogeneous inter-generational memories, this project examines the meaning of 1948 today as told by community activists and first-, second- and third-generation Palestinian refugees in Syria.