Dheisheh as a Social and Political Space

Nina Gren

in Occupied Lives

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print November 2015 | ISBN: 9789774166952
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9781617976568 | DOI:
Dheisheh as a Social and Political Space

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This chapter discusses Dheisheh as a political and social space within the specific context of the Bethlehem area. The reader will here find some basic facts about the camp and its establishment by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) in the early 1950s. In this context of displacement, village origins remain important to some extent. The chapter explains how and why Dheishehans had earlier been deeply involved in political activism, and why they distanced themselves from it during the al-Aqsa Intifada. The argument is that the political mobilization of Palestinian camp refugees had first of all depended on their experiences of loss and flight in 1948, as well as continuous army violations. Their disengagement at the time of fieldwork was due to encounters of extensive violence during the militarized al-Aqsa Intifada, along with deep distrust and disbelief in the Palestinian political elite and their way of advancing the national project.

Keywords: Dheisheh; Bethlehem area; UNRWA; Village origins; Flight; Activism; al-Aqsa Intifada; Political mobilization; Army violations

Chapter.  12099 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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