JCU Professor and Alumna Co-Author Article in Society and Economy

Former JCU Professor Pal Belenyesi and JCU alumna Zina Abuhaydar recently published an article in the journal Society and Economy from Akadémiai Kiadó, in Hungary. The article, titled “The Palestinian-Lebanese Paradox – The Socio-Cultural Conundrum of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon: Law, Economics and Culture,” was partly funded by a JCU Faculty Development Grant that helped Professor Belenyesi’s research and funded his trip to Lebanon.

Palestinian refugees have a special status under international law. Their de facto statelessness provides for the discretion of hosting nations in treating them. A significant number of displaced Palestinians and their descendants have arrived in Lebanon, which treats them as “campers” and “temporary guests,”thereby depriving them of the rights to education, to work, to buy property; overall, to legally exist. The situation of Palestinian refugees has been subject of cultural and legal research extensively. We have attempted to add new results to the existing literature and findings: the cultural-economic aspects of the existence of semi-legal Palestinians through a time-dimension. Our paper summarizes the findings of a three-tier field-study. We started with the first wave of interviews and surveys in late 2014, then completed the second round in late 2015, and finally, completed our research in March 2016, with several rounds of interviews. Though we also visited settlements and camps outside the capital, the overwhelming majority of our work concentrated on Beirut and the Palestinian camps therein. We observed both cultural similarities and differences between the migrants and the host population. The added value of the research is that it highlights the amplitude and pervasiveness of these impressions.

Pal Belenyesi taught economics at John Cabot University from 2014 to 2017. He has worked for national authorities in Hungary, for the European Commission, the European Parliament and blue chip companies in Hungary, Italy and in the US working in strategy, sales and general management.

Zina Abuhaydar, JCU Class of 2015, majored in Communications with minors in Entrepreneurship and Psychology.