MEMO in conversation with Dr Anne Irfan – Middle East Monitor


The international humanitarian body UNRWA was created to support Palestine refugees functioned as a surrogate state, however Palestinian refugees have continued to demand their political rights while resisting the UN’s categorisation of their plight as an apolitical humanitarian issue. Join us as we speak to Dr Anne Irfan about her book ‘Refuge and Resistance: Palestinians and the international refugee system‘ to discover how engagement with world politics was driven as much by the refugee grassroots as by the upper echelons of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), making refugee groups important actors in global politics, not simply aid recipients.

Dr Irfan is a historian of the modern Middle East, specialising in migration and socio-political history in Palestine and the Levant. She has a BA (Hons) from Oxford University and a Dual MA/MSc in International History from Columbia University and the LSE.

Irfan won the 2017 Ibrahim Dakkak Award for Best Essay on Jerusalem for her work, ‘Is Jerusalem international or Palestinian? Rethinking UNGA Resolution 181‘. She has also spoken in the UK Parliament and at the UN Headquarters in New York about the situation of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.

She was awarded a PhD in International History in January 2019 and taught in the department as a Graduate Teaching Assistant until June 2019.

She is currently a Departmental Lecturer at the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University.

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