Workshop "Palestinian Refugees and the State: A Human and Political Capital or an Economic Burden?"

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As part of a series of workshops on the “Political
Economy of Dependence and Independence in Palestine,” the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies
(IALIIS) at BZU held a workshop entitled: “Palestinian Refugees and the State:
A Human and Political Capital or an Economic Burden?” on 30 April 2012.

In his opening address, the Vice
President for Community Outreach, Dr. Munir Qazzaz, pointed to the importance
of conducting a comprehensive and accurate study of issues and sectors that impact
the current economic conditions.


IALIIS Director, Dr. Asem Khalil, discussed
the framework of the workshop series organized by the Institute, explaining the
reasons for holding this workshop and the importance of the subject under
discussion. He also thanked the speakers and supporters who contributed to the
success of the workshop.

Chaired by Said Salameh who is the Director of the Department of Refugees
Affairs at UNRWA, the first session featured Leila Hilal, Co-Director of
the New America Foundation Middle East Task Force, speaking about UNRWA and the
future Palestinian State. The commentators for this
first session were Lex Takkenberg, Chief Ethics Officer at the UNRWA
Headquarters in Amman and Alex Pollock, Director of Micro Finance at UNRWA. For the
abstract of Hilal’s discussion paper, please visit [url=][/url]

The second session on “The Palestinian Refugees, the Right of
Return and Nationality” was chaired by Esmat Zidan, Assistant Professor of
Geography at BZU. Graduate student at IALIIS,
Sujood Elewi, addressed the impact of the Palestinian State on Palestinian
refugees and their right of return. The commentators in this session were
Yasser Amouri, Assistant Professor at the BZU Law Department and Asem Khalil.

Chairperson of the Contemporary Arab
World at the College de France/Paris, Hana Jaber, chaired the last session
entitled: “The Status of the Palestinian Refugees
in the Future Palestinian State.” Ingrid Jaradat, research consultant to the
Palestinian civil society campaign, talked about the Palestinian refugees,
agents of self-determination, unity and empowerment. The third session commentators were Rana Barakat,
Assistant Professor at the BZU Philosophy and Cultural Studies Department; Jaber
Sulieman, Palestinian independent researcher and consultant; and Aiko
Nishikida, Assistant Professor of the Research Institute for Languages and
Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. For the
abstract of Jaradat’s[url=][/url]

The workshop was concluded with an open discussion on
recommendations and remarks.