Randa Farah

Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Randa Farah is an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario, Anthropology Department. Dr. Farah has written on Palestinian popular memory and reconstructions of identity based on her fieldwork in a refugee camp in Jordan. She was a Research Associate at the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Moyen-Orient Contemporain (CERMOC), in Jordan, where she conducted research on Palestinian refugees and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). She held different positions as Visiting Fellow and an Associate Researcher at the Refugee Studies Center (RSC) at the University of Oxford.

Focus On: Palestinian Refugees

This collection of some of the most compelling pieces Al-Shabaka has published contextualizes and discusses the unique difficulties of Palestinian refugees displaced across the Middle East – from becoming refugees a second or third time due to the ongoing Syrian civil war to over-researching camps “famous” for tragedy while under-researching other refugee situations and exile communities.

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Roundtable Refugee Issues

The Arguments Against Palestine Giving Its Refugees Citizenship

Overview The rights of Palestinian refugees have been long neglected and their suffering has been carried from generation to generation for 67 years. In his recent piece A Bold Proposal: Palestine Should Give Its Refugees Citizenship, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Fateh Azzam argued that the State of Palestine should confer citizenship on its stateless refugees and…

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Commentary Politics

What Forces Shape the Palestinians of Gaza?

Despite the horrific death and destruction that Israel visited upon Gaza, it was not able to achieve its aims, due in part to a unified stand by Palestinian resistance factions. Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Randa Farah draws parallels to a 13th century battle in examining the forces, past and present, that have shaped the Palestinians of Gaza and sets the Palestinian cause in its regional context.

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Commentary Negotiations

Palestinian Dead End Highlights the Right of Return

Photo by Gueorgui Tcherednitchenko

The Palestinian people must hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for the persistent failure of negotiations. As Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Randa Farah argues, the PLO/PA should not replace different forms of resistance to the occupation with unlimited negotiations while finding itself under pressure to actively work to halt other acts of resistance simply for these negotiations to continue – and should remember the centrality of the right of return.

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Roundtable Refugee Issues

Political Agency for Palestinian Return

palestinian return

Palestinians must themselves be the agents of their return. Some civil society campaigns are contributing to achieving return, such as the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and legal actions. But for real progress the internal obstacles to return must be addressed, including the lack of a consensus on how to achieve Palestinian self-determination. These are among the key points raised in this roundtable organized by Al-Shabaka’s Policy Circle on Return.

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Policy Brief Refugee Issues

Keeping an Eye on UNRWA


Israel recently launched a spate of attacks on UNRWA, the UN Agency serving Palestinian refugees, which could herald another attempt to shut the Agency down. Is UNRWA perpetuating Palestine's conflict with Israel, as its Israeli critics allege, or does it provide essential relief and work for millions of Palestinian refugees who were displaced from their homes in 1948? Does UNRWA act as a catalyst to absorb the refugees in the Arab world and to contain their political struggle as its Palestinian critics allege, or does it keep their cause alive and visible on the international scene as its Israeli and Western critics allege? In this policy brief, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Randa Farah responds to UNRWA's critics, while also casting a critical eye at the Agency. In doing so, she reminds us of the different reasons why the Agency was founded in the first place.

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