In commemoration of the Nakba, Mada al-Carmel’s Gender Studies Program (GSP) hosted a panel on May 14th, 2015, entitled “The Palestinian Woman and The Justice System: Between the Nakba (Catastrophe) and the Catastrophic Present.”

Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, the director of the GSP, opened the panel with a lecture connecting the historical experiences of women living under the Zionist legal system imposed during the Nakba to the present-day hardships faced by Palestinian women in the West Bank.

Mrs. Aida Issawi, the director of the Jerusalem office of the Women’s Studies Centre, discussed the hardships faced by Palestinian women living in Jerusalem as a result of violence from both soldiers and settlers.

Dr. Suhad Daher-Nashef, the co-ordinator of the GSP, spoke about access to justice for Palestinian women living within Israel’s 1948 borders, presenting the procedure and key findings of a research study conducted by the GSP’s Women’s Access to Justice Project.

Following these presentations, Sawsan Zaher, a lawyer from Adalah, remarked on the importance of maintaining a holistic point of view for understanding women’s status in the justice system.

To view a summary of this event (available in Arabic), click here.



On March 12th, Mada al-Carmel held an event in honor of the release of a special edition of the journal Biography entitled “Life in Occupied Palestine.” Guest co-editors of the issue, Dr. Cynthia G. Franklin and Dr. Morgan Cooper, spoke on their motivation for engaging such a project and the process of identifying topics and authors, and contributors Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian and Mr. Raja Shehadeh spoke on their contributions and other works relating to the work of Biography. Dr. Franklin is a professor at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, she spoke about the importance of personal experience in overcoming the obstacles of addressing the Palestinian situation in academia, as the process of fact-checking is often used to erase or monitor information. She points to the indisputable nature of personal experiences as being a powerful method of resistance against claims of bias, as memories of personal experiences cannot be erased. She also spoke on the common occurrence in which academic anti-Zionist critique is interpreted as anti-Semitic sentiment, and evidence is discarded under these perceived “biases.”

Mr. Raja Shehadeh is a Palestinian lawyer for human rights and author. In speaking about his article in the special edition “Towards a New Language of Liberation: An Interview,” he commented on how language used to describe Palestinians has changed so much throughout history; first they were called “citizens of Mandate Palestine,” then “infiltrators,” “meddlers,” and “terrorists.” He recalled how “infiltrators”– those who had returned to their lands after being driven out in 1948, could only be spoke about in whispers by their neighbors. He also addressed the unwillingness of younger generations to learn from previous ones, as events unfolded in 1948, then 1967, then during the Oslo Accords. “How impossible it has been for people to learn from one another,” he said.


(L to R) Morgan Cooper, Cynthia G. Franklin, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Raja Shehadeh

Dr. Morgan Cooper provided information to the background and the process behind the special issue. She first pointed to the geographic divisions between Palestinians and how this is reinforced by the language used to describe them: Palestinians in the West Bank, Palestinians in Gaza, Palestinian in ’48. She therefore pointed to the conscious choice she and Dr. Franklin made to use the term “Palestinians in Occupied Palestine,” and to accept authors and pieces about life in all three areas. Their second principle articulated a desire to draw attention to the everyday struggle under occupation; Dr. Cooper gave the example of the complications of simply purchasing a car and registering it, something she experienced during her life in West Bank,  Their third guiding principle in the special edition was attempting to capture the progression and connection between the historical colonial project to the methods of colonial oppression today.

Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian stated her motivations for contributing to the special edition. Much of her work addresses the topics raised in conversation, such as the experiences of “infiltrators,” whom she calls “returnees” in light of their criminalization by the state. She spoke of an incident which occurred to her and the co-author of the piece for this issue, Sarah Ihmoud. While returning from a conference in Amman, Jordan, Ms. Ihmoud was stopped at the border and denied entry.  The stressful experiences of both women waiting to re-enter the land (Shalhoub-Kevorkian is from Haifa and Sarah Ihmoud from Turmus Ayya, near Ramallah) inspired them to write “Exiled at Home: Writing Return and the Palestinian Home.” Their article addresses the phenomena of a home space being an exile, of the inability to escape the colonial settler project even at home.

The entire special edition of Biography is available on Project Muse here at no cost.

Mada’s Gender Studies Program director Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian authored an article entitled Palestinian Feminist Critique and the Physics of Power: Feminists Between Thought and Practice. The article was published in [email protected] Journal in 2014.


“Grounded in my own position as a Palestinian feminist born and raised in Haifa, this paper delves into the nature of feminism for Palestinian women in the Jewish settler colonial state by asking three main questions: How does the complex socio-political reality of settler colonialism reflect itself in the lives and status of Palestinian women living in Israel? What kind of critical feminist theorizing is needed from Palestinian feminists in Israel? How can we analyze and confront the racism of the historical silence of the majority of Israeli feminists towards the historical injustice and current violence faced by Palestinian feminists?  The paper underlines the importance of widening the critical feminist lens to account for the physics of power and calls for (a) the deconstruction of feminisms that have refused to regard the Nakba as a focal analytical and actual source of feminist theorization and (b) defiance in the face of global, regional, and local amnesia towards the Palestinian right to life in the face of Israel’s necropolitical regime of control.”

To view the article, click here.

Mada al-Carmel is pleased to share with you three recent academic papers that are authored by Mada researchers.

Dr. Nadim Rouhana, Director of Mada al-Carmel, and Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, Ph.d Candidate and Political Participation Program Coordinator at Mada al-Carmel, co-authored a paper entitled “Settler-Colonial Citizenship: Conceptualizing the Relationship between Israel and its Palestinian Citizens,” published in the journal Settler Colonial Studies, 2014. This paper seeks to re-examine the relationship between Israel and its Palestinian citizens, and offers an alternative reading, that while acknowledging the procedural connection of citizenship, introduces the settler-colonial structure as a central analytical framework for understanding the origins of this complex relationship and its evolution.

Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kervokian, Director of Mada’s Gender Studies Program, has recently had two articles published. The first, “Funding Pain: Bedouin Women and Political Economy in the Naqab/Negev,” was written in collaboration with Antonina Griecci Woodsum, Himmat Zu’bi, and Rachel Busbridge. Published in the journal Feminist Economics, 2014, this article explores the experiences of Bedouin women living in the Naqab/Negev, particularly in unrecognized villages. The article fills a crucial void in existing literature, which often overlooks colonized women’s criticisms of the political economic apparatus.

Dr. Shalhoub-Kervokian’s second paper “Palestinian Children as Tools for ‘Legalized’ State Violence” was published in Borderlands, 2014. This paper addresses the treatment of Palestinian children under the settler-colonial legal context of Israel through the analysis of three main occurrences: the practice of child arrest, the use of children as human shields, and the attacks on Palestinian children’s homes.

Enclosed are the aforementioned articles. We appreciate your continued interest in work produced by Mada al-Carmel researchers.

In October 2014, Mada hosted a study day for Palestinian female doctorate candidates. The event was introduced by Dr. Suhad Daher-Nashif and Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, who highlighted the potential of Palestinian women’s scholastic achievement to subvert narratives of victimhood promoted in Israeli settler-colonial discourses.

The workshop’s first session focused on national political issues and was chaired by Ms. Maysan Hamdan. This session featured papers on constitution writing and reconciliation-based policymaking in conflict communities, youth work institutions in the occupied Palestinian territories, the trans-generational inheritance of the collective memory of the Nakba, and theatrical representations of Palestinian lived experiences.

The second session focused on social issues of import to the Palestinian community and was moderated by Ms. Manal Shalabi. This session included presentations on women’s study organizations, Arab mothers raising children with mental disabilities, femicide and its impact on the culture of the household, and assistance centers for Palestinian survivors of sexual violence in Israel.

Mada al-Carmel invites researchers to submit proposals for analytical opinion papers on Israeli perceptions of the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which will be published in “Mada’s Files”. We are aware of the difficulty involving research into the various competing interests within Israeli society, which hold different perceptions/views on resolving the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. However, there are several indicators that help us understand the perceptions of different Israeli political and ideological views and ideas for the future of the conflict and/or solutions. The papers should focus on the reading and understanding of these propositions. Therefore, we invite you to take one side, address an aspect of these propositions, or focus on Israeli official policy regarding the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when writing your analytical papers. We believe that your contribution will enrich the files and increase the understanding and exploration of perceptions in Israel concerning this matter.


Examples of possible topics:

  • Review of the positions of Israel’s historical peace process and talks.
  • Is there an Israeli peace program? If so, what is it?
  • Perceptions of peace within “the Israeli left.”
  • Perceptions of peace within “the Israeli right” and within “streams of the Israeli center.”
  • Settlers’ views for future solutions.
  • Israeli views on the future of the Occupied West Bank and/or Gaza.
  • You can choose other topics, in coordination with MADA .


Abstract and Paper Submission Requirements:

  1. Abstracts may not exceed 150 words.
  2. Papers can be presented and published in Arabic and/or English.
  3. Papers may not exceed 3500 words.
  4. Authors receive a financial reward for his/her paper.
  5. Papers should be written in an academic style but taking into account that the target audience does not only consist of academics.
  6. Please send details to the following email address: [email protected]


Important Dates:

Proposal Submission: August 15, 2014

Response to Proposals: August 30, 2014

Submission of Research Papers: November 15, 2014

Click Here for the PDF Version




Nadim Rouhana, Israel Studies Program Director

Mtanes Shihadeh, Israel Studies Program Coordinator

The subject of the current issue of Jadal is those Palestinian cities that were seized during the Nakba in 1948 and in which a Palestinian population remained; namely, Jaffa, Lydda, Ramle, Haifa, and Acre. These cities are given various designations, of which the term “mixed cities” is one of the most prevalent among their Palestinians residents today. The majority of the Jewish residents of these cities, however, regard them as Jewish cities.


Issue Theme