Since Israel’s establishment in 1948, Palestinians who experienced exile have shared their narratives to other Palestinians and the international community to justify their right to return. This study explores narratives of second- to third-generation Muslim Palestinian refugees. I conducted a narrative criticism of ethnographic interviews I recorded with Palestinians from a refugee camp in the West Bank. Palestinian refugees present their narratives to Western misconceptions that the media perpetuates. The collective memory of exile and oppression in addition to the experience of living under Israeli occupation influence Palestinians’ understanding of the past and shape their present worldview. Despite the unlikelihood of return, these stories actively reinforce Palestinian strength. Thus, the right to return is not necessarily about returning to and recreating Palestine as it was before the Nakba; it is a story about the need for human rights.


Boser, Beth

Second Advisor

Mirza, Sarah


Communication Studies; Religious Studies


Islamic World and Near East History | Jewish Studies | Near Eastern Languages and Societies | Oral History | Other Film and Media Studies | Political History | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Rhetoric | Speech and Rhetorical Studies


narrative, rhetorical characteristics, right to return, refugee, ethnographic interview, collective memory, Palestinian

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Emily K. Cherney