The Sociology and Anthropology Program hosted Dr. Anaheed Al-Hardan, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University of Beirut (AUB). She lectured about her latest book titled "Palestinians in Syria: Nakba Memories of Shattered Communities" on Wednesday April 5, 2017.
Al-Hardan started her presentation with an introduction about the usage of the word "Nakba" among Israeli historians such as Ilan Pappe, who used Israeli government archives to prove that Zionist attached on Palestinians in 1948 were based on a policy of ethnic cleansing. She highlighted the fact that several new historians played an important role in making the phrase "Nakba" more acceptable among academic circles in English.
She continued her talk about how "Nakba" has been addressed among Arab intellectuals and brought the example of Zureik who is considered the first to use the term in his book "The Meaning of Nakba." However, the importance of the Nakba in collective memories diminished in 1969 with the start of the Palestinian Revolution. Later in the 1980s, the importance of the Nakba remerged as a Palestinian catastrophe not an Arab one. In her talk, she highlighted the rise of the right of return movement as a reaction to the Oslo Agreement.
Al-Hardan concluded her lecture by stressing that remembering the 1948 Nakba in light of today's catastrophe in Syria must compel us to reconsider the Arab nation state order and the borders it has left behind.