Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MIS)

Degree Name

Interdisciplinary Studies

Department or School/College

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Committee Chair

Kathleen Kane

Committee Co-chair

Wade Davies, Khaled Huthaily


Al Nakba, Cultural Heritage, homeland, Identity, Jerusalem, language, Levantine Dialect, Nationalism, Palestinian Diaspora, place, zionism


University of Montana


Cultural Geographers have written extensively on Diaspora, heritage, identity and their contributions greatly discuss how these theories integrate. The majority of what is available does not address the Palestinians specifically, hence my study fills a void in that it empirically addresses the Palestinian people and the role of their dialect and how it ties to Palestinian Diaspora, heritage and identity. Most of the literature has not viewed Diaspora, heritage, and identity thru the lens of language or language as a major player, an important one or perhaps vital. To produce these findings will contribute to the knowledge base on the issue to the Palestinians specifically and to the concept itself and its variable elements/components that integrate and act to define it. (Hubbuch, 2004, pp. 138-139). This Thesis will argue, from the historical and cultural record of Palestine, that among the multiple aspects of Palestinian culture, language is the most crucial bearer of identity and group cohesion. In addition to this central claim about the importance of language, the thesis will draw specific conclusions about the role and use of the Levantine dialect of Arabic by analyzing the data gathered in a semi-structured online interview in which thirty nine respondents offered their shared experiences and ideas regarding their Levantine dialect of Arabic. Palestinian relationship to language is deeply associated with place, family, history, heritage, and pride in self and in community. These associations are ones that speakers of the Levantine dialect of Palestine are remarkably self-aware about; that is, the diasporic condition makes language more visible as a pivot of culture and more precious because it is under threat.



© Copyright 2009 Samir Ibrahim Bitar