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23 January 2024 Start
23 January 2024 End
4-6pm GMT Time
Zoom Online


Palestine and its heritage

January 23 2024

In Solidarity with Palestine is a special virtual roundtable, co-organized by Critical Ancient World Studies and Everyday Orientalism.

The event will consist of a discussion about the role that scholars of antiquity, archaeology, and heritage should play in opposing the genocide and epistemicide in Palestine, and how they can best stand in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Confirmed speakers include Sabiha Allouche (University of Exeter), Fadel Al-Otol (archaeologist, Gaza strip), Georgia Andreou (University of Southampton), Aditi Rao (Princeton), S. Sayyid (University of Leeds), Santiago Slabodsky (Hofstra University),  Falestin Naïli (Basel/Ifpo) and a contribution by Heritage for Peace.


Panelists (in alphabetical order)

Sabiha Allouche

Sabiha Allouche is a Lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter. Sabiha’s overall research bridges the gap between anthropological writing and political analysis. Sabiha is primarily situated within feminist and queer studies. Her work engages with feminist approaches to violence, conflict, migration, and social mobility. Sabiha is dedicated to producing decolonized knowledge and to rethinking sexed and gendered regimes in the MENA region beyond Eurocentric theoretical framing. She has been published in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies and the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

Fadel Al Utol

Fadel Al Utol is a Palestinian archaeologist and father of five children. He was born in the al-Shati refugee camp in 1981. He has been working with the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem since 1997 in the context of their excavations in Gaza. Furthermore, he has since 2017 been part of the workforce Intiqal 2030 (“Progress 2030”), whose mandate is the protection and restoration of all the archaeological sites in Gaza. [picture above by Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera].

Georgia M. Andreou

Georgia is a senior researcher at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton and an associate lecturer in Near Eastern Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology at UCL. She has previously worked at Cornell University and Brown University. Her research focuses on coastal societies of the Eastern Mediterranean during the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE, including surveys and excavations on the island of Cyprus. Since 2022 she has been directing the Gaza Maritime Archaeology Project (GAZAMAP), documenting actively deteriorating coastal sites primarily in Deir el-Balah. Her more recent project, Critical Heritage Under Water, examines the political dimensions of the study and management of underwater heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Falestin Naïli

Falestin Naïli is an Assistant Professor in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Basel (Switzerland) and a historian associated with the Institut français du Proche-Orient (Ifpo) in Amman. She is the Principal Investigator of an SNSF-funded Consolidator Project entitled “Futures Interrupted: Social Pluralism and Political Projects Beyond Coloniality and the Nation-state” (2024-2028). She specializes in the social history of late Ottoman and Mandate Palestine and Jordan and has focused much of her recent research on local governance and politics, particularly in Jerusalem.  Through her interest in collective memory and oral history, she often reaches present-time issues, including the politics of heritage and folklore.

Aditi Rao

Aditi Rao (she/hers) is a 3rd year graduate student in Princeton’s Classics department where she works on the scar tissue of Indian and Greek encounters in the Seleucid worlds and the construction of anti-Indo-European philologies. She is now based in Philly where she is an active organizer in the movement for Palestinian liberation, which sits in solidarity alongside her work on graduate union campaigns, anti-carceralism, and demilitarization.

Isber Sabrine

Isber Sabrine is a Syrian archaeologist who specializes in cultural heritage management during conflicts. Since 2011, he has been involved in projects and studies on the protection of cultural heritage during conflicts. He is currently chair and co-founder of the international NGO Heritage for Peace. He is leading the Abuab Initiative, which is a social project that works on using cultural heritage as a tool for intercultural dialogue with refugees and immigrants from the MENA region and Ukraine. He is the founder and director of the Arab Network of Civil Society Organizations to Safeguard Cultural Heritage (ANSCH).

S. Sayyid

S. Sayyid is a professor of rhetoric and decolonial thought, currently at the University of Leeds.  He reads historical ontologies and writes political theory.  His publications have been translated into several languages.  He is also the editor of the interdisciplinary journal ReOrient.

Santiago Slabodsky

Santiago Slabodsky is an Argentinean social theorist who holds the Kaufman Chair in Jewish Studies at Hofstra University in New York. He is co-director of the journal Decolonial Horizons edited from South America and published by Pluto Press in the UK, co-chair of the Religions, Social Conflict and Peace Unit at the American Academy of Religion and for over a decade he has been visiting concurrent professor at institutions in the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Costa Rica, North Macedonia and Argentina.  Among his publications, his book Decolonial Judaism: Triumphal Failures of Barbaric Thinking received the 2017 Frantz Fanon Outstanding Book Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association.

Marchella Ward (chair)

Marchella Ward (Chella) is a Lecturer in Classical Studies at the Open University. Her work seeks to unravel the complicity of the classical with Western supremacy, racism, ableism, and other injustices, and she is especially interested in using Muslimness as an epistemological tool of insurgency against the Eurocentrism of the classical tradition. Together with Mathura Umachandran, she co-convenes the Critical Ancient World Studies collective, and she writes frequently for non-specialists and also for children.