Here and There : Towards an Analysis of the Relationship between the Palestinian Diaspora and the Center
This book discusses the problematic of social and economic relations between the Palestinian Diaspora and the center (the Palestinian territories), and between the Diaspora and the host societies. It utilizes the tools of network analysis and economic sociology to assess the strength and weakness of these relations. The author tries to subvert some of the ready-made statements that have dominated our thinking about the relation between the Diaspora and the homeland. When we discuss the Diaspora, we are always governed by a belief system belonging to the sociology of continuity, memory, and social persistence. The migrating refugee carries customs and traditions, and even social class to the countries of refuge, transforming the refugee camps into "Palestinian villages" outside the borders of the nation. But this is only part of the truth, since the individual's daily existence is also influenced by the totality of social, professional, and personal relations that are woven in the countries of refuge. The author uncovers the elements of a dual sociology consisting of both continuity and rupture at different levels; this duality is often left unstated, since national identity is affected by other forms of identity. This work is based on fieldwork by the author and his assistants, over the past six years, among the Palestinian economic elite in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Chile, and Australia, in addition to within the Green Line.