Palestinian Childhoods

The conference took place on Friday 8 & Saturday 9 March at Birkbeck University. It was co-organised by the UK-Palestine Mental Health Network and the Birkbeck Centre for Researching and Embedding Human Rights.

The event was sponsored by the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research and supported by Friends of Birzeit University.

Click link for:

Slides from Dr Samah Jabr’s Keynote address “The Children of Palestine: Struggle and Survival under Occupation

Photo Gallery



Friday 8th March 2019 

6pm. Welcomes Professor Bruna Seu, Birkbeck University and Teresa Bailey, UK-Palestine Mental Health Network.

6.15pm. Film: Surviving Childhood. Compiled / edited by Charlotte Burck and Christiane van Duuren

7pm. Reflections: Professor Lynne Segal

7.15pm Break

7.30pm. Panel Discussion: Personal experiences of childhood in occupied Palestine from 1948 until the present. Participants include Dr Ghada Karmi, Shahd Abusalama, Reem Yaghi, Meran Zahran. Chaired by Mohammed Mukhaimer, UK-Palestine Mental Health Network.                    

9pm. End

Saturday 9th March 2019.

9am. Registration and Coffee

9.30am. Introductions: Professor Bruna Seu, Birkbeck University, Dr Martin Kemp, UK Palestine Mental Health Network

9.50am. Opening Address: Victoria Brittain. Journalist, Author and Human Rights Activist.   

10.15am. Keynote address: Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kervorkian. Faculty of Law-Institute of Criminology, School of Social Work and Public Welfare, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. ‘Gun to Body’: Childhood, Colonialism and the Israeli Military Occupation

11am. Coffee break

11.30am. Keynote address: Doctor Samah Jabr. Chair of Mental Health Unit at the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The Children of Palestine: Struggle and Survival under Occupation   

12.15pm. Panel discussion.   Chaired by Bruna Seu.  Professor Jacqueline Rose, Birkbeck University, Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kervorkian, Dr Samah Jabr

1.15-2.15pm. Lunch break 

2.15pm-3.45pm Parallel Workshops 

  • Workshop 1 Trauma, Grief and Resilience: the work of the Palestine Trauma Centre in Gaza. Presenters: Mohamed Altawil, Gesine Miller and David Harrold. PTC
  • Workshop 2 Supporting Children’s Resilience through their Political Participation Presenters: Riad Arar, Defence for Children International, Hebron. Reem Yaghi and Meran Zahran, representatives on Children’s Parliaments, Jericho and Ramallah.     Chaired by Teresa Bailey, UK Palestine MHN
  • Workshop 3 “They Came at Midnight”: Childrens’ Responses to Political Violence and its Aftermath.”  Presenter Zeina Amro, Department of Global Health and Social Science, Kings University, London     Chaired by Gwyn Daniel, UK Palestine MHN
  • Workshop 4 Resilience and resistance in the ongoing traumatic reality of Gaza: reflections from case studies Dr Marwan Diab, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Gaza. Chaired by Eliana Pinto, UK Palestine MHN

3.45pm – 4.15pm Tea Break

4.15pm Panel:  Children and Young People in Palestine and Beyond; building solidarity and sustaining connections. Chaired by Mohammed Mukhaimer. with Reem Yaghi, Meran Zahran and with skyped contribution from Palestine. Responses from young people in the UK.

5.15pm Concluding remarks

5.30pm Conference closes