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24 Pages

Confined Offline, Traversing Online Palestinian Mobility through the Prism of the Internet

ByMiriyam Aouragh

The massive Palestinian exodus of the 1948 Nakba left a deep imprint in the Palestinian soul. These forced traversals – as well as the recurring flights in 1956, 1967, 1982 and more – transformed the meaning of ‘mobility’ in Palestinian discourse. Mobility is naturally adjoined to immobility. The emergence of Palestinian internet helped to overcome immobility and isolation. The remote and fragmented Palestinian nation started to reunite through websites, chatting and emailing. Cyberspace and online networks suggest new conceptual interpretations—Virtual Mobility. The internet presents a platform for the belated memoirs to be told. This article analyses the Palestinian internet production and consumption and illustrates how virtual mobility is a particular phenomenon for displaced communities. Applying a simultaneous offline and online methodology this article is based on research data based on multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan.