Refuge and Resistance: Palestinians and the International Refugee System: Caabu Online Briefing with Dr Anne Irfan

24 Oct 2023 18:00 - 19:00

Caabu invites you to an online briefing: Refuge and Resistance: Palestinians and the International Refugee System, with Dr Anne Irfan who will discuss her new book of the same title, on Tuesday 24 October 2023 at 6pm (BST UK time).

Register for this online briefing here.

Refuge and Resistance: Palestinians and the International Refugee Systemcan be purchased here. Books by Caabu speakers can be purchased here through Caabu's affiliate page on Caabu receives 10% of any purchase made as does an independent book shop.

When: Tuesday 24 October 2023, 18:00 (BST, UK time).

Where: Online. Sign up for the discussion here.

The event will also be live-streamed on Caabu's Youtube channel which you can also subscribe to. Previous Caabu briefings and discussions can also be watched here and a recording of this event will be posted here afterwards also. Previous Caabu briefings can be watched in this playlist here. Videos on Palestine can be watched in this playlist here.

Caabu has created an affiliate page on Bookshop. This means, that with any purchase through this site, 10% of the sale price will be sent to us and another 10% will go to support local bookshops. We think this is a great way to support Caabu's work and independent bookshops across the country. More details about it can be found here.

  • Buy other books from previous online Caabu briefings here and from physical events we've hosted here.
  • Other books written by Caabu speakers, including others written by James Fergusson, can be found here.
  • Titles written by Caabu board members and patrons can be found here, as can others written by those who have spoken at Caabu events here.

We hope you enjoy reading any of these titles, and supporting Caabu in the process.

You can sign up for the discussion here using your email address. Please note that sign up is a two part process. Once you have signed up with your email address, this will then be approved, and details will then be emailed to you ahead of the event. Please do check your inbox (including Junk and Clutter folders) for this email with the link to join the event on the day. 

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Anne Irfan Refuge and Resistance Caabu

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About the book:

In the decades after World War II, the United Nations established a global refugee regime that became central to the lives of displaced people around the world. This regime has exerted particular authority over Palestinian refugees, who are served by a specialized UN body, the Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Formed shortly after the 1948 war, UNRWA continues to provide quasi-state services such as education and health care to Palestinian refugee communities in the Middle East today.

This book is a groundbreaking international history of Palestinian refugee politics. Anne Irfan traces the history and politics of UNRWA’s interactions with Palestinian communities, particularly in the refugee camps where it functioned as a surrogate state. She shows how Palestinian refugees invoked internationalist norms to demand their political rights while resisting the UN’s categorization of their plight as an apolitical humanitarian issue. Refuge and Resistance foregrounds how nonelite activism shaped the Palestinian campaign for international recognition, showing that engagement with world politics was driven as much by the refugee grass roots as by the upper echelons of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It demonstrates that refugee groups are important actors in global politics, not simply aid recipients.

Recasting modern Palestinian history through the lens of refugee camps and communities, Refuge and Resistance offers vital new perspectives for understanding politics beyond the nation-state.

About the speaker:

Dr Anne Irfan is Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Race, Gender and Postcolonial Studies at UCL. Her work examines colonial legacies in displacement and bordering practices, focusing on Palestinian refugee history and the modern Middle East. A trained historian, she is also interested in questions around post-war internationalism and the UN, archival suppression, and the global refugee regime. Before joining UCL, Anne was Lecturer in Forced Migration at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre. She is Principal Investigator (PI) on the British Academy-funded project ‘Borders, global governance and the refugee, 1947-51’.

Anne is the author of Refuge and Resistance: Palestinians and the international refugee systemavailable with Columbia University Press. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Refugee Studies, Journal of Palestine Studies, Contemporary Levant, Forced Migration Review and Jerusalem Quarterly. She won the 2020 Alixa Naff Prize in Migration Studies for her article Educating Palestinian refugees: The origins of UNRWA’s unique schooling system; the 2020 Contemporary Levant Best Paper Award for Petitioning for Palestine: refugee appeals to international authorities; and the 2017 Ibrahim Dakkak Award for Outstanding Essay on Jerusalem for Is Jerusalem international or Palestinian? Rethinking UNGA Resolution 181.

She Tweets: @anne_irfan.

Caabu is a not-for-profit cross-party organisation whose mission is to work for a British Middle East policy that promotes conflict resolution, human rights and civil society in the Arab world through informed debate and mutual understanding. Caabu is one of the most active NGOs working on the Middle East in British parliament since its establishment in 1967. From then on Caabu has assumed an active advocacy, educational and media role.

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