Before the Nakba in 1948, Palestinian society was flourishing and growing, especially in major cities like Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Haifa.
In fact, about 40% of the Palestinian population lived in cities which had undergone significant social, economic, political, and cultural transformations.
But the Nakba irrevocably changed Palestine as we know it.
Its wide-reaching destruction manifested itself through the disappearance of Palestinian cities. Moreover, Palestinian women’s presence in those cities seemed to dissipate, too.
Before the catastrophe, women were visible in society. They established associations and clubs, attended local and regional conferences, and took part in organising demonstrations against the British mandate.
In Manar Hassan’s latest book, she explores how this reality swiftly changed.
She also offers various examples and stories affirming the existence of Palestinian civilisation and refuting the false Zionist Orientalist narrative that describes Palestine as "a land without a people".
A legacy of research
As a Palestinian researcher in urban sociology, gender, and colonialism, Hassan penned the book in Hebrew; it was then translated by Alaa Hlehel into Arabic and published by the Institute for Palestinian Studies in November 2022 in Beirut.
It joins an ongoing academic, historical, and cultural Palestinian legacy involving researchers, writers, novelists, historians, sociologists, and anthropologists.