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Free University Berlin

Bucerius Pre-Doctoral Grant

Between Home and Nation. Forced Displacement and National Identity in post-1952 Egypt


This research explores processes and mechanisms of national identity construction for people who were forced to leave their homes in the name of Nation. It aims at understanding the contrast between officially constructed nationalist discourse and narratives of displaced people about their identity and their own sense of belonging to the nation of Egypt. The project compares two internal forced displacements: The first happened between 1967-1973 and expelled large parts of the population from the Canal Suez cities. The second has been happening since 2013 and affected people living in the North Sinai region. My work will use discourse analysis and oral history interviews as methodology. It aims to contribute to literature on nationalism in the Middle East by contrasting intellectual discourses and official elite discourses with individual experience and stories. This research addresses also wider issues of forced displacement in the region and in the world.

Nayera is a Ph.D. student at Free University Berlin. She is also a fellow researcher at Arab Forum for Alternatives, a Cairo-based think tank. She is currently working on a joint project with Peace Research Institute Frankfurt and University of Sfax about “Socioeconomic Protests and Political Transformation”. She received her M.A. in Political Sociology from Sorbonne Paris 1 University. She is involved in organizing Ehky ya Tarikh workshops to research and re-tell social and political history of marginalized areas in Egypt through different sources. Her research interests are nationalism, forced displacement, youth, marginalized communities and education.

Nayera Abdel Rahman, Development of school curricula, Arab Forum for Alternatives Policy Paper, in

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