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Home al-Majdal March 1998, Issue No.23 Preliminary Results of Statistical Survey Among West Bank Refugees
Jueves 24 de Septiembre de 2009 11:08

Preliminary Results of Statistical Survey Among West Bank Refugees

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A Survey of Refugee Living Conditions and Expectations

Statistical surveys of refugee attitudes have become a fashion. They are conducted inside and outside Palestine, frequently under the sponsorship of international organizations apparently hoping to discover that Palestinian refugees, after 50 years of exile, have "finally come to their senses," and are now ready to bury their dream of return to Palestine in exchange for improvements of living conditions (compensation, better housing, etc.). This survey, undertaken upon the request of the Union of Youth Activity Centres, serves as a tool in the hands of refugees to compare and judge the findings of the numerous other surveys based on their own, scientifically founded results.


The survey was conducted under the supervision of the al-Quds University/Refugee Studies Center, the data collection by (refugee) students of the University in the refugee camps was facilitated by the Union of Youth Activity Centres. The number of questionnaires to be filled was originally set at 2,500. For financial reasons this number was reduced to 1,200 in mid-1997, and refugees living outside the refugee camps were consequently excluded from the survey. Data analysis and a preliminary report of the survey were completed in December 1997. The findings are representative of the refugee population living in the 19 West Bank refugee camps recognized by UNRWA and in five not officially recognized refugee communities.

The questionnaire used in this survey was composed of four sections: demographic composition of refugee families, public services, housing and living conditions, expectations from the peace process. The preliminary results presented here pertain to section four. A detailed final report including all major results will be made available by the Campaign in the future.

Analysis of Preliminary Findings
Workshop at Kalandia Refugee Camp

The prelimary findings of the survey were presented and discussed in a workshop conducted in Kalandia refugee camp on 24 February 1998. Among the approximately 30 participants were a representative of UNRWA, UNRWA camp directors, academic researchers, representatives of the PLC and several PA ministries (Ministry of Welfare, Youth and Sports, Higher Education), and an advisor to the presidential office.

The first part of the discussion focused on two survey findings which attracted special attention:

a) the high rate of support for the right of return as the just solution to the refugee question (75%+): It was raised, on

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