The Middle East crisis has had a tremendous multi-faceted global impact. On a personal level, it has molded almost every aspect of my life, steering me through my academic choices as well as major decisions that define my existence. Through this statement, I intend to emphasize my personal history, practical experiences and academic knowledge makes me a candidate who is acutely suited to pursue the (name of degree) at your esteemed institution. I was raised in Palestine during the times of the first and second intifada and hence witnessed firsthand the progress and ultimate collapse of every peace process aimed at the resolution of this conflict that effects the day to day lives of both, Palestinians as well as Israelis. At the age of sixteen, I began working for organizations such as the Israeli ‘Peres for Peace’ and the Palestinian ‘MEND’ that sought to facilitate meaningful debate between Palestinian and Israeli youth to encourage better understand as a step towards peaceful coexistence. Through these organizations I was able to gain experience through participation in forums in Palestine as well as Oslo, Malta and Jordan. As a participant in one of the largest Palestinian student movements in Jerusalem, I was elected twice to represent the committee at the national level. I was also detained for nearly a month under the ‘Administrative Law’ which, much like Guantanamo Bay, allows the detention of individuals without charge, for an indefinite period of time. This experience profoundly moved me, developing a keen interest in unraveling the experiences an individual faces during detention from a psychological point of view. Through my doctoral study, I hope to further add to the existing body of literature that aims to deconstruct the ‘prison experience’ within a psycho-social framework more broadly.
These life experiences profoundly shaped the manner in which I approach, analyze and understand political processes and sovereign power. I have come to understand that, the only enemy in the Palestine-Israel conflict is the ‘conflict’ itself. I believe that, having lived this history as it materialized provides me with the kind of knowledge that is less readily captured when one lives solely on ‘the outside’. I have a deep understanding of the historical, political and social dynamics specific to this region that equips me with the necessary skills to undertake research on dehumanization and excessive violence in the context of Palestine at PhD level. Further, within my network are prisoners, activists, political leaders and peace makers from both, Israel as well as Palestine. I believe this will help me reach to a variety of people holding different political ideologies that I intend to interview as part of the focus groups in my research. Such people may also help me access archives of different political movements, which can provide original statements as well as unpublished works or rare publications. Through this study of dehumanization and its effects on extreme violence in areas of conflict, particularly in the case of the Middle East Crisis, I hope to gain experience of conducting an in-depth independent research project that allows me to further the understanding I have built up over the course of my academic career to date, and additionally, to make a meaningful contribution to the existing body of knowledge in this area.
I thank you for giving me the opportunity to present my views on this subject and hope that my credentials will be found to be satisfactory enough to accept my application for the (name of the degree) offered by your esteemed institution.