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الموقع تحت الإنشاء

النسخة التجريبية من موقع النهضة العربية (أرض)

The Palestinian Refugee Question: Historical, Legal, Political, and Humanitarian Aspects Online Short Course


Course description

The bimonthly course is designed to provide a solid analytical overview of the Palestinian refugee question’s historical, political, legal, and humanitarian ramifications as well as an opportunity to analyse possible solutions and their feasibility. Each course will provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the Palestinian refugee question’s origin and evolution in the context of the development of the international humanitarian, refugee and human rights regimes; the responses that the international community has provided to Palestinian refugees compared to other contemporary refugee situations; the distinctive regime set up for them (made of UNCCP, UNRWA, UNHCR); Palestinian refugees’ legal status and treatment in over 70 countries (including through the application of ‘Art. 1D’); an overview of their fundamental rights and entitlement to protection in theory and practice, according to state laws, policies and case law; the various international stakeholders involved in the Palestinian refugee question, and the humanitarian and political responses offered so far and possible ways forward. At the end of the course, participants will be able to more effectively engage on the subject.

The course will be offered in English and Arabic with simultaneous interpretation.



The course will take place over a long weekend from 29th to 31th October 2021 – Friday (2-6PM), Saturday (9AM-3PM), Sunday (9AM-3PM), Amman/Jerusalem time.



Course will be open to 20 participants, among diplomats, government officials, UN and NGO personnel, journalists, researchers and lawyers interested in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the Palestinian refugee question.


Program synopsis

The course comprises 13 taught sessions, group discussions, reading materials distributed ahead of the course, a group assignment, and a closing panel featuring representatives from academia, grassroots organizations, journalism, UNRWA and/or UNHCR.

Foundations & Current State of Affairs

·        History of Palestine and its people, including the origin of the Palestinian forced displacement and its evolution

·       Normative and institutional regime for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA, UNCCP, UNHCR), and relevant case law (art 1D)

·        The value of international law ‘as a whole’ in protecting the Palestinians

·        Legal features and political dynamics of Palestinian dispersal worldwide: from the Arab world to Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific and Africa

Zooming in on rights, protection and durable solutions

·        Self-determination, return, compensation/restitution

·        The relevance of a human rights-based approach to protect Palestinian refugees

·        Revisiting solutions for Palestinian refugees: a much-needed paradigm shift


From theory to practice through:

·        Practical ‘exercise’ session on future and potential outcomes of various solutions for the Palestinian refugees

·        Interaction with a closing panel of renowned experts from various fields, to engage on questions arisen during the course.


Facilitators and guest speakers

The course will be facilitated by the authors of Palestinian Refugees in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2020), Francesca Albanese and Dr. Lex Takkenberg, both former UNRWA staff, and academic staff from BZU, including Dr. Asem Khalil, Dr. Raed Eshnaiwer and others, who will be announced ahead of each course (short bios below). The course will be enriched by guest speakers and panelists, including from ARDD’s Global Network on the Question of Palestine. 


Fees and scholarships

Course fees: USD 350. Full or partial exemption of course fees is possible for some Palestinian researchers/professionals upon application.


Registration and information:

Registration and inquiries can be addressed to: Offers are made on a first-come-first-served basis to qualified applicants. Seat to be confirmed upon payment confirmation.

Facilitators’ bios

Lex Takkenberg

A Dutch National, he is a senior advisor at ARDD and heads Project20s. He worked in various field and headquarters positions with UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, since 1989 and was until late 2019 based at its Amman headquarters where he occupied the post of Chief, Ethics Office. Before joining UNRWA, he was the Legal Officer of the Dutch Refugee Council for six years. A law graduate from the University of Amsterdam, he obtained a Doctorate in International Law from the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, after having successfully defended his doctoral dissertation entitled The Status of Palestinian Refugees in International Law. Oxford University Press (OUP) published a commercial edition of the dissertation in 1998; an integral Arabic translation was published by the Institute for Palestine Studies in 2003. A new version of the book – co-authored with Francesca Albanese, was published, also with OUP, in 2020.

Francesca Albanese

is an international lawyer and legal researcher, and an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute of International Migration at Georgetown University. From March 2021, Francesca leads the Question of Palestine program at ARDD. A human rights legal practitioner since 2003, including as a legal officer with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UNRWA Department of Legal Affairs, based in Jerusalem, Francesca has also authored reports, articles and opinions on the Question of Palestine and Palestinian refugees, UNRWA’s mandate and the complementary role of UNRWA and UNHCR to protect these refugees. She is also the principal author of Palestinian Refugees in International Law, written with Lex Takkenberg and published by Oxford University Press in 2020. Francesca holds a LL.B from the University of Pisa (Italy) and an LL.M from SOAS University (London, UK) and is completing her PhD in refugee studies at the Law School of the University of Amsterdam.

Asem Khalil

is Professor of Public Law, H.H. Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Chair in Constitutional and International Law, Birzeit University. Former Dean of the Faculty of Law and Public Administration (2012-2015) and of the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies (2010-2012), Dr. Khalil holds a Ph.D. in Public Law, Fribourg University, Switzerland, a Master in Public Administration from the National School of Administration, France, and a doctorate in Utriusque Juris, Lateran University, Italy. He has authored numerous publications, including articles and book chapters on the question of Palestine and Palestinian refugees as well as various aspects of the legal theory and Constitutional Law.

Raed Eshnaiwer

is a researcher at the Center for Development Studies at Birzeit University, focusing on the political participation of Palestinian refugee youth in refugee camps in the West Bank. He holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from Universite Libre De Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. At Birzeit University, he supported the development of the University MA program on International Migration and Refugee Studies. His taught courses include Contemporary Arab Thought, and Introduction to International Migration and Refugee Studies (MA course). Dr. Eshnaiwer has also been the coordinator of the Birzeit University Forced Migration and Refugee Unit, where he participated in the development of an academic concentration on Refugee and Forced Migration studies as part of the MA program in International Studies.