Ethnicity under ʾ iḥtilāl: A Comparative Study of two Minority Communities

STARTED Dissertation project

The aim of this research is to explore the construction/reconstruction of ethnicity in the context of the old city of Jerusalem –al-Quds- in Palestine. This research draws on theories of ethnicity, and adopts a comparative approach, focusing on two ethnic minority communities residing in the old city; the African community ( al-Jāliya al-ʾafriqiya ) and the Dom gypsy community ( al-Nūri ). It is designed to uncover
the inter and intra ethnic interactions, the construction and negotiation of ethnic boundaries, the narratives of similarities and difference in the communities, and the cultural fluxes that took place across generations and groups. Furthermore, as the research is situated in the old city of Jerusalem, it will also have a focus on the intersection between ethnic and national identification in a settler colonial setting, and will generate insights on the construction of a Palestinian national identity in relation to ethnic identity and vice versa.