Researching Palestinian refugees in the Arab World: the case of Egypt

Published: 9/Feb/2013
Source: Academia.Edu

By Oroub el Abed


The several flows of Palestinians who arrived in Egypt due to established fear of wars or due to professional and socio-economic reasons in the years 1948, 1956 and 1967 endeavoured to integrate in the Egyptian cities. No camps were created for Palestinians except for temporarily. Palestinians who had to remain in Egypt had only their social and professional relations in order to adapt in the Egyptian society. Over time, due to marriages, close relations between Egyptian and Palestinians families, Palestinians got intermingled with the Egyptian society. Most importantly, it was due to the state policies to treat them on par with Egyptian and to ensure them with their basic rights that enabled them to get higher education, work in the public sector and sustain a good livelihood anywhere in Egypt. Only in the last 1970’s, the policy changed and treated Palestinians as foreigners with no rights and no access to services. This paper addresses the issues that were taken into consideration when conducting research on this refugee community dispersed all over Egypt, whether political or social. The research aimed to understand how political matters victimise the presence of Palestinians in Egypt and how eventually people self-censored themselves when talking about status quo in Egypt. Measures such as security campaigns at Palestinian houses and the  Emergency Law have shaped the representation of this dispersed community mistrusting each other and not always daring to reveal facts about their livelihoods and about their jeopardised civil basic rights.

Paper available on Academia.Edu

Themes: Nationality and Refugees
Regions: North Africa, Egypt
Year: 2013