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People Response to War and Conflict: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Impact of War on Home, Human Health and Built Environments.


This course works on two levels, the first is global and the second is human. On the global level, it aims to provide a general framework for the analysis of societies’ response to political and military conflict. On the human level, it is meant to discuss peoples’ response to either natural or man-made, and explore their practices to cope with the aftermath of either disaster or conflict. While we are aware of the global policies behind conflicts, this course deals with the human implications of these policies. Taking the meaning of home as a theme, this course aims to focus on the interdisciplinary urban and health implications and responses of war in areas of conflict. Combining theory and reality, we will use Palestine as a case study. In times of warfare, people’s compulsory journey from evacuation to home return correlates with the meaning of home “as a place from which to reach out and to which to return,” therefore, home is seen as rootedness and the central place of human existence. The course discusses in- depth the inhabitants’ traumatic experience under the Israeli occupation and links this with other local, regional and global examples. The “walking through walls” military strategy that consisted of blowing up the walls, floors, and ceilings of adjacent homes in the old town of Nablus in the West Bank, and other places, dramatically altered the built environment and created highly stressful living conditions. It alters the conceptual meaning of home. For example, during the 2002 Israeli invasion Edjteyah of most of the main Palestinian cities, the “walking through walls” linguistically and technically represents a forcible action of power domination and repression over both the landscape and people.





Course learning objectives
Taking the example of Palestine, with focus on the occupation practices on people and the built environment, and the “walking through walls” military strategy, at the end of this course the student should be able to:
1. To recognize, describe and define the meaning of home in times of political and military conflicts.
2. To critique and classify linkages and interrelations between the built environment and health issues.
3. To explore peoples’ response to political and military conflict.
4. To outline and compare socio-institutional polices that contribute to mitigate implications of conflict and violence.


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