Time and location

Thursday, 17 May 2018, 19:00 - 21:00
Diplomatic Academy, Festsaal
Favoritenstraße 15a, 1040 Vienna


Hazar Hijazi
cofounder of the feminist movement Falastinyyat

Nidaa‘ Nassar
director of Baladna Association for Arab Youth, Haifa

Tom Pessah
board member of Zochrot, Tel Aviv

Helmut Krieger, University of Vienna/VIDC

Magda Seewald, VIDC

Languages: English and German with simultaneous interpretation

Registration: seewald@remove-this.vidc.org

The long shadow of 1948. The contested history of Israel and Palestine

©istock/joel carillet
©istock/joel carillet


The demonstrations in Gaza, that have started at the end of March have turned the focus of international attention on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel on 14 May, as these demonstrations call for the right of return for the refugees of 1948 and their descendants. So far, thousands of Palestinians have been injured and more than 40 people were shot dead by the Israeli army.
While official Israel celebrates its founding date, the 'Nakba' (catastrophe) commemorates the expulsion and/or flight of more than 750,000 Palestinians from historic Palestine in 1948. The anniversary thus represents a cornerstone of a contested history which leaves little scope for the development of common narratives. This poses the challenge of how that history can be written from the perspective of the marginalized.
In which way is the Nakba present in contemporary Israeli society? How can the events of 1948 be linked to the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories by the Israeli state? How do today's activists and intellectuals deal with this contested history? What could be basic elements of a common narrative about the history of 1948?


Hazar Hijazi

was born in Akko (Acre). She is a feminist activist and the cofounder of ‘Falastinyyat’. Falastinyyat (feminine plural noun of ‘Palestinians’) is a feminist movement that was established in early 2013 to support Palestinians in coping with the cultural and psychological consequences of the Israeli colonization. The core idea of Falastinyyat is that liberation from colonization starts with self-liberation. In order to reach this aim, Hazar Hijazi uses therapeutic approaches from art and bibliotherapy.
Hazar Hijazi has an MA degree in Expressive arts therapy, specialized in Bibliotherapy for
children and youth with special needs.

Nidaa’ Nassar

currently works as the Director of ‘Baladna- Arab Youth association’. She has worked in several Palestinian civil society organizations, particularly relating to youth and women, including: ‘Al-‎Manarah Association for Persons with Disabilities in the Arab Community’, ‘Women Against Violence’ (WAV), ‘Assiwar: The Feminist Arab Movement’, and ‘Elhawakeer: Association for Society, Agriculture and Environment Development’ based in Nazareth. Nidaa’ has also worked in several research projects, mainly at Mada al-Carmel Arab Center for Applied Social Research.
She has been a central figure in various popular committees and movements: the movement against the Prawer-Begin Plan, the ‘committee against civil service’ (for Palestinian citizens of Israel), the ‘committee against murder of women’ and is a member of the Political Bureau of ‘Balad’ (National Democratic Palestinian Assembly).
Nidaa holds both a BA degree in Social Work and MA in Conflict Research, from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Tom Pessah

is an Israeli sociologist and activist, born and raised in Tel Aviv. In 2014 he completed his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. The topic of his dissertation was the representation of ethnic cleansing in settler colonial societies. Pessah serves on the board of ‘Zochrot’ (‘remembering’ in Hebrew), an Israeli NGO established in 2002. Zochrot sees Return as the imperative redress of the Nakba, and as a opportunity for a better life for all the country's inhabitants. Pessah has written multiple posts in Hebrew and in English in order to raise awareness of these ideas among the Jewish Israeli publics.


Helmut Krieger

is a social scientist and research associate at the Institute for International Development at the University of Vienna as well as a consultant for the VIDC. His research focuses on the Israel-Palestine conflict, movements of political Islam in the Arab World, Critical State Theories, and post-colonial theory building. Recent publications include: as an editor „Food Sovereignty and Alternatives Development in Palestine! (2018), as co-editor ‘Krise, Revolte und Krieg in der arabischen Welt‘ (2017) as well as the essays ‘Das Ende der Hoffnung: Revolten in der arabischen Welt als diskontinuierlicher Prozess‘ (2015) and ‘Syrien – Aufstand, Krieg und Flucht‘ (2016). He is also the Austrian project coordinator for the APPEAR project ‘Rooting Development in the Palestinian Context‘, a cooperation between the University of Vienna, Birzeit University in the West Bank, and the Al-Azhar University in the Gaza Strip.


Magda Seewald

is a political scientist and has been a project consultant at VIDC since 2005 with a regional focus on the Arab Region, especially Palestine. She also coordinates a VIDC series on upheaval in the Arab World. As the gender consultant at VIDC, she supervises the area of the gender sensitization of men as well as the mentoring project for refugee women ‘Willkommen Freundin‘. Magda Seewald is a co-founder of the network ‘REloading Feminismus‘. Her latest publication as a co-editor is ‘Krise, Revolte und Krieg in der arabischen Welt‘ (2017).