Born a Refugee: A Novel of One Palestinian Family (CreateSpace, 2010) is about two brothers and their widowed mother living in the Kalandia Refugee Camp and how they survive and even triumph over the hardships of poverty and oppression. This novel seeks to humanize the Palestinian refugee narrative, which is often reduced to a controversial political issue. By opening a window into one of the claustrophobic homes that has housed refugees since 1948, it bares the problems and difficulties, the fears and the hopes, and the strong family bonds of daily life in the camps.
Dixiane Hallaj, PhD Education ’06, spent 11 years living and working in Jordan and the West Bank, raising her own family as part of her husband’s extended family. She recently spent time in the refugee camps of the West Bank, while studying the stories and lives of illiterate women living in these camps for her dissertation.