Alaa Hajyahia

Alaa Hajyahia

  • Scholar
  • Israel, Palestine
  • 2022 PhD Social Anthropology
  • King's College

Anthropology has consistently helped me bring to light aspects of law otherwise hidden, realizing that where disciplines meet, legal research can better understand and broach social change. It is this passion for interdisciplinary research that has guided my academic journey from studying law, sociology, and anthropology at Tel Aviv University to completing my graduate studies at Yale Law School. Being Palestinian in Israel, even questions of identity are never simple to answer. Normally, I am expected to describe, and associate, myself as, “Arab-Israeli” rather than “Palestinian.” If I choose to disregard this label, I invite scrutiny almost immediately. How I see myself, and as importantly, how Israeli society sees me, are deeply interconnected and rife with tensions and contradictions. This solidified my desire to be a scholar—steeped in anthropology and law—able to expose the deficiencies and marginalization endemic to Israeli society. My Ph.D. seeks to ethnographically elucidate the relationship between the Israeli state, its legal institutions, and the Palestinian community at its margins. Through my research I aim to highlight the voices I feel are neglected in my educational and professional environments. Aspiring to give voice to the lived experience of marginalized groups, being part of the Gates community will advance my analytical skills and deepen my theoretical understandings in ways I can’t yet imagine.

Previous Education

Yale University Law 2022
Tel Aviv University Anthropology and Sociology 2020
Tel Aviv University Law 2017