Mette Edith Lundsfryd Stendevad

Mette Edith Lundsfryd Stendevad

Interdisciplinary PhD-candidate Sociology / History

Graduate Research Assistant Media ,Communication, & Sociology
University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester LE1 7RH

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BSc Political Sceince and Arabic, University of Copenhagne, (Denmark)

Diploma of Forced Migration Studies, University of Oxford, (U.K.)

1 year MA in Arabic and Oral History, American University of Beirut, (Lebanon)

MPhil in Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, (Sweden )(2014) Completed with distinction.

PhD topic

Grandmother, Mothers and Daughters as Narrators of History: The case of Palestinian Syrian Women and Girls

Preliminary Brief of PhD

My doctoral project focuses on female Palestinians of Syria and document stories and experiences of the stateless Palestinian Syrian population. I follow the legacy of women’s oral history writing as an activist practice (Gluck 1977, Sayigh 1998 and 2014). Women have resisted the violence of the brutal Assad regime and some of the more extreme Islamist militias that grew as Syria burned (Al-Shami 2016, Yassin-Kassab & Al-Shami 2016). Likewise women have often taken a leading role in supporting their communities and building alternatives to the state’s totalitarianism and building ways of resisting discriminative borders systems in and around Syria and in Europe (Al-Shami 2016).

Palestinian refugees arrived in Syria between 1947 and 1951 in the wake of the Arab-Israeli war and the eviction from Palestine (Al-Hardan, 2016, Nahle, ) – known in Arabic as the 1948 Al-Nakba[1]. Persons labelled stateless “Palestine Refugees” were resettled in nine refugee camps throughout the Western part of Syria (Palestinian Refugees Portal, November 2016, UNRWA 2016). Until 2011 Palestinian Syrians amounted to 3 pct. of the multi ethnic and multi religious Syrian population. Today at least 160.000 Palestinians of Syria live outside Syrian territory (Palestinian Refugees Portal, November 2016).

I create a research design where the critique and the different ways of speaking back to the ongoing history of violence in Syria, the eviction from historical Palestine, forced separation, statelessness, borders, and violence, come from females, who are forced to live separated and disconnected (some still in Syria, some scattered in different European countries or beyond, some by death). The record of histories focuses on a cross-generational group of women, across continents, who tell valuable stories about their memories of life and community in Syria, life in refuge and how to continue living in disconnection. They have been separated by checkpoints, borders and legal frameworks - separated geographically between e.g. Denmark, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, the U.K. and Germany (etc.) - separated by languages, technologies, and cultures - separated by communities and different local policies. The current-day framework of policing transnational movement can be seen as mix of “fictionality and the real”, since fictional “stories” about “the other’s” reason to escape or ability to live in separation shapes the reality of the law that governs their lives (e.g. family unification laws and asylum lasw) and choses who can live and who must die (Papadopoulos, Stephenson & Tsianos 2008:67).


Dr. Leah Bassel and Prof.  Clare Andersson


Lundsfryd, Mette Edith. (2017). “Speaking Back to a World of Checkpoints. Oral History as a Decolonizing Tool in The study of Palestinian Refugees from Syria in Lebanon”. Middle East Journal of Refugee Studies. 2(1), pp. 5-26

MA Theiss: A World of Checkpoints : Border Crossing Experiences of Palestinian Refugees from Syria in Lebanon

Conference Papers and Presentations

Conference paper at the Central European University in Budapest: Challenging the Political Beyond and Across Borders. Possibilities and Tensions Of Migrants and Solidarity Struggles, the 17-18 of November 2016.

Paper titled: Forms of Resistance in a World of Checkpoints: Experiences of Palestinian refugees from Syria


[1] In Arabic Al-Nakba means the catastrophe. The phrase refers to the mass eviction of Palestinians from Palestine during the Arab- Israeli war in 1948 and the on-going statelessness of the Palestinian people.

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