Randa Farah is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Western Ontario
Dr. Randa Farah is a Research Associate based at the Refugee Studies Center (RSC), University of Oxford.
Most of her writing and research pivots around forced displacement, exile, nationalism and children living with the effects of prolonged conflict. Dr. Farah has conducted several seminars on diasporas and refugees in different academic institutions, and was involved in developing and teaching a short course on Palestinian refugees and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the University of Oxford. Her current research and interest are of a comparative nature, mainly, in Africa (South Africa and Western Sahara), Cypriot refugees and Latin America, primarily Guatemala.
Notwithstanding the specific features of the Palestinian case, many aspects of al-Nakba, or the Palestinian catastrophe have parallels in contemporary history. One important but neglected case that lends itself to comparative research is the struggle of the people of Western Sahara for self-determination. Palestinians and Sahrawis have been denied their political rights that derive from the fact that they are nations. However, there is a fundamental difference between the two cases: Zionism expelled the Palestinian inhabitants in order to replace them with Jewish settlers on expropriated Palestinian land.