Announcing the fifth recipient of the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Award in Palestine Studies, Areej Sabbagh-Khoury


The Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University is pleased to announce the fifth recipient of the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Award in Palestine Studies, Areej Sabbagh-Khoury. The award recognizes and seeks to foster innovative and ground-breaking scholarship on issues related to Palestine and Palestinians.

Areej Sabbagh-Khoury is an associate researcher and the Academic Coordinator of the Political Participation Project of Palestinians in Israel at Mada al-Carmel - The Arab Center for Applied Social Research. She will spend Fall 2015 at Columbia University working on a book project based on her dissertation research, Colonization Practices and Interactions at the Frontier: Ha-Shomer Ha-Tzair Kibbutzim and the Surrounding Arab Villages at the Margins of the Valley of Jezreel/Marj Ibn 'Amer, 1936-1956. Her research has focused on Ha-Shomer Ha-Tzair, the left wing of the Labor Zionist movement, and their interactions with the Arab villagers in the densely populated frontiers of Bilad al-Ruha, on the western border of Marj Ibn 'Amer. At the ideological level, Ha-Shomer Ha-Tzair espoused comradeship among nations and bi-nationalism, seeking coexistence with the Arab population in Palestine. By examining the practices of the Kibbutzim of this movement and the contradiction between its ideology and its practices, Sabbagh-Khoury illuminates the limits of coexistence in the Zionist form of settler colonialism. While for her dissertation, she mostly examined Zionist and kibbutz sources, for her book she expands her research to utilize Palestinian sources and investigate Palestinian perceptions of their "neighbors." Accounts of these interactions, within their community with members of the kibbutz, will examine how relations with settlers effected the collective Palestinian society during the Nakba. Her book offers a special reading of the history of Zionist colonization as a unique case of settler colonialism, while the scholarly literature primary addresses Zionist ideological currents in Palestine and the competition among them, she examines the settler colonial practices as an accentuation that the Nakba did not begin with the events of 1948, but rather was coextensive with the ongoing Zionist colonization process.


Sabbagh-Khoury completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University. She contributed to several book chapters and articles, among them "Palestinian Predicaments: Jewish Immigration and Refugees Repatriation." She also co-edited The Palestinians in Israel: A Guide to History, Politics, and Society in two volumes, the first was published in 2011 and the second is forthcoming in 2015 (both published by Mada al-Carmel, in English, Hebrew and Arabic). Her most recent publication is a co-authored article in Settler Colonial Studies; "Settler Colonial Citizenship: Conceptualizing the Relationship between Israel and its Palestinian Citizens." She has received several awards and grants for her research, among them the Fulbright Post-doctoral Scholar Award.

This award has been made possible by the generosity of Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan, through the A.M. Qattan Foundation, in honor of his friend, the Palestinian scholar and intellectual, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (1929-2001). Their close friendship began in the aftermath of the Nakba of 1948 and evolved into a shared commitment to justice for Palestinians to be realized in part through support for excellence in higher education and scholarship. Sahar Huneidi and the Abu-Lughod Family generously offer additional support to the fellowship.