Q&A with Haneen Naamneh

Researching how the Palestinian community in Jerusalem experienced transformation following the Israeli occupation

Haneen is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology.

It is important to engage with other research activities besides your own, as this gives space to put your own work into perspective.
A headshot of Haneen Naamneh
Haneen Naamneh

What are you currently researching?

My research examines how the Palestinian community in Jerusalem experienced legal and bureaucratic transformation following the Israeli occupation in the first decade after the 1967 war.

In particular, I am interested in forms and ways of everyday engagement of Palestinians in Jerusalem with the law through municipal archives, historical press and oral histories. 

What attracted you to this area of research? 

Working as a lawyer myself, I became interested in how people engage, understand and negotiate law in everyday life; especially in situations of conflict and violence. I am interested in socio-legal studies and social history, therefore my research combines interdisciplinary methodologies and theories.

Moreover, I am attracted to this area since it allows for story telling through engagement with different sources, including oral histories and memoirs. 

How will your research improve or have a wider impact on society?

I hope my research will contribute to the historical scholarship on Jerusalem and Palestinian people, particularly in relation to oral documentation, as the generation who lived through this historical period are key to us understanding the era.

Fifty years later, it is important to record their words and experiences. By this I hope to create spaces for their untold stories and marginalized narratives.

What do you hope to do career-wise, long term?

I hope to pursue my academic career and teach in the areas of law, society and history. I also hope to extend the scope of my study in the future, through further archival and oral documentation, to produce academic papers and eventually a book, in both English and Arabic. 

Moreover, I hope to extend my research skills into other contexts, such as looking into the experiences of refugees with legal systems in host countries. 

What are your top three tips to prospective students on the most effective way to approach research and keep stress levels down?

It is important to engage with other research activities besides your own, as this gives space to put your own work into perspective. 

Secondly, London is a great place for learning through art, cinema and theatre, so taking the time for that is crucial for fostering your creativity and imagination. 

Thirdly, exercise is also key. Being a research student means you are constantly under pressure and physical activity becomes a way not only to ease the pressure but also to develop self-discipline. 

What resources are available at LSE to help young researchers?

I think LSE opens up great opportunities for PhD students to engage with a variety of research projects, through the different centres and hubs across the school, such as the Middle East Centre and LSE Human Rights

I also found LSE schemes that support students to participate in exchange programmes, seminars and conferences around the world, all very rewarding and useful for young researchers. 

What do you enjoy most about studying at LSE? 

The ability to connect and form different initiatives among the students body, such as reading and writing groups. Additionally, I very much enjoy the location of LSE and the ability to connect, attend events and audit courses at other universities across the road. 

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