portrait Al-Hardan

Anaheed Al-Hardan

Affiliated 13-14 (Term I), Fellow 11-13

Sociology / Memory Studies / Social History


Anaheed Al-Hardan is a sociologist with research interests in collective memory and remembrance; decolonial, feminist and indigenous epistemologies and research practices; modern Arab intellectual and political history, and imperialism and anti-imperialist social movements. She was previously a researcher on the Global Networks Project at the Institute for International Integration Studies at Trinity College, University of Dublin (2006-07) and a recipient of a Doctoral Fellowship from the Palestinian American Research Centre (2007-08). She has taught in the Department of Sociology at Trinity College, University of Dublin (2006-10), where she completed her doctoral dissertation (2011). Entitled “Remembering the Catastrophe: Uprooted Histories and the Grandchildren of the Nakba”, her dissertation explored practices of memory and remembrance of the Nakba in the Palestinian refugee community in Syria.

Memories of Palestine: The Nakba and the Palestinian Refugees in Syria

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.