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The Palestinian-Lebanese Paradox – The Socio-Cultural Conundrum of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon: Law, Economics and Culture


  • Pál Belényesi

    () (John Cabot University, Rome
    MOME University, Budapest)

  • Zina Abuhaydar

    (John Cabot University, Rome)


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 properties; 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, finalized 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pál Belényesi & Zina Abuhaydar, 2017. "The Palestinian-Lebanese Paradox – The Socio-Cultural Conundrum of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon: Law, Economics and Culture," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 39(2), pages 251-270, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:39:y:2017:i:2:p:251-270

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    More about this item


    Lebanon; Palestinian refugees; cultural integration; economic incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination


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