Mapping Memories of Resistance: The Untold Story of the Occupation of the Golan Heights

in collaboration with Birzeit University and Al Marsad, Arab Human Rights Centre in Golan Heights

LSE PI: Dr Michael Mason
Co-PI: Dr Munir Fakher Eldin
Duration: September 2018 – April 2021

Svarshik. The landmark on the roadside marking the beginning of the Golan Heights

While the case of the Palestinian Intifada has gained strong political weight in the narrative of the Palestinian liberation movement, the Jawlani (Arabic for indigenous people of the Golan) uprising has received less popular and scholarly attention despite striking parallels in both cases on the strategies of everyday resistance. Moreover, most of the existing literature on the Golan Heights has tended to document and analyse it from the lens of international relations, warfare, geopolitics and security. As a result, the human dimension of the occupation is scarcely addressed, apart from mostly local Syrian voices who remained and Palestinian scholars.

This project aims to document and narrate the untold story of the occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights in its political, socio-economic and cultural elements by focusing on the lived experiences of the Syrians who remained after the Israeli military occupation in 1967 and annexation in 1981, and their resistance to occupation.

Amongst other activities, this will involve:

  • the development of a Master's level course for Birzeit University on the historical geography of the Jawlani resistance 1967–1982;
  • the building of an online public database containing unique primary sources in Arabic, including archival material, books, posters, photographs, and newspaper articles documenting the events which took place during this period.

This project builds on a pre-existing partnership between research teams at LSE and Birzeit University.

This project forms part of the Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities Programme, funded by the Emirates Foundation.

Project Outputs

Research Team

Michael Mason

Michael Mason | Principal Investigator 

Michael is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environment, and Associate of the Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change and the Environment.


Munir Fakher Eldin | Co-Principal Investigator

Munir is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies and Director of the MA program in Israeli Studies at Birzeit University.


Muna Dajani | Research Officer

Muna is a Research Officer at the LSE Middle East Centre. She has been working as a researcher and consultant for the past 12 years on the Jordan River Basin hydropolitics.


Omar Imseeh Tesdell | Researcher

Omar is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Birzeit University and a postdoctoral fellow of the Arab Council for Social Sciences. 


Nadine Musallam | Research Assistant

Nadine is studying for a Master's degree in International Studies at the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute of International Studies, Birzeit University.


Alaa Iktash | Researcher

Alaa has an MA in Israel Studies, which was awarded the "Elias Khoury" Award from Birzeit University.