'Recreating' Gaza: International organizations and Identity Construction in Gaza
KeywordsAmerican Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)
Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA)
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 01-Nov-2019
AbstractThis project addresses the contemporary and competing non-state governmentalities in the Gaza Strip through an analysis of the 1948-1967 period. During this period the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) constructed early notions of non-state 'governance' and quasi-citizenship in Gaza. The majority of this research focuses on these organizations in the 1948-1967 period, however, there is a case study that addresses the way in which these competing models of non-sovereign administration impacted the approaches used since 2007 by Hamas. The distinct histories and experiences of administration under each organization has created competing notions of what components constitute an assembled notion of citizenship in Gaza. Specifically, the bureaucratic categorization preferred by UNRWA conflicts with Hamas' focus on individualized service based on the tradition of shura (consultation) and youth training, in particular. Several approaches to governance in Gaza are common to the three major faith-based organizations discussed here (the AFSC, the YMCA, and the Hamas). Notably, these organizations create sacred spaces and processes as a mechanism of governance, allowing them to exert control over the population. In particular, the manner in which two distinct international organizations – UNRWA and Hamas – came to operate parallel state structures in the Gaza Strip, and the way that these two organizations imbue citizenship like rights and responsibilities on the populations that they serve is of particular interest. In this way governance in the Gaza Strip has completed a circuit: from the faith-based Friends to the faith-based Hamas, with UNRWA as the constant secular parallel authority. Through an examination of organizational archives, memoirs, and interviews this project links these events, arguing that the institutional records of these organizations provide an illuminating path to better understand the situation of governance in Gaza today.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Middle Eastern & North African Studies