Voices in the desert: learning from engagement with two Bedouin communities in the Israeli Negev region

Hanson, Meira (2013) Voices in the desert: learning from engagement with two Bedouin communities in the Israeli Negev region. In: CU Expo 2013, June 12-15, 2013, Corner Brook, NL, Canada. (Submitted)

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In the current academic context in Israel, community engagement with research, or other means of knowledge creation, is still in its early days, especially in the fields of health and environment. It is hampered by lack of know-how as well as adequate recognition and funding. As part of an EC funded project (PERARES) a pilot was conducted utilising an existing undergraduate course at the Ben Gurion University. The pilot was continued in a new course on 'the Right to Health and Environmental Justice' in the 2011/12 academic year. The presentation will discuss 2 cases based on the pilot and another project from the course. Both cases involve Bedouin communities in the Negev region. In the first case residents in the urban settlement of Tel-Sheva requested information on the health effects of a high-tension power line passing near several neighbourhoods. In the second case an organization working in the recently recognized village Qasr al-Sir requested a review of environmental health hazards. In both cases the engagement and research processes were hampered by language and cultural barriers. The different partners (local residents vs. an external organization, albeit one with long-term experience working in the village) influenced the level of engagement achieved – though in neither case could the process be categorized as 'community based research.' At the same time, in both cases the work provided a hands-on learning experience for the students involved and a potential catalyst for local action on the part of the communities. The presentation will address these challenges and raise some ideas as to how they may be overcome in the future. The latter will be raised as points for discussion with other session participants, as it is the aim of this presentation to bring home new perspectives.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1892
Item ID: 1892
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > CU Expo 2013
Date: 14 June 2013
Date Type: Completion
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