Interview with Naomi Santesteban

By The Catalyst Editorial Board

Naomi Santesteban

Our team interviewed Naomi Santesteban about her upcoming article “An Analysis Of UNRWA’s Policy and Practice Concerning Palestinian Refugees” in the spring edition of Chrysalis. In her article, she addresses the policies enacted by UNRWA and the limitations of the non-permanent status of the organization. You can watch the video below to know more about her article.  

Naomi is in the last year of her honours degree in International Development Studies and Political Science. She is originally from Toronto, but since her family is from Argentina, she speaks English, Spanish and French. Naomi has been involved in Jack.org, a SSMU club aiming to destigmatize mental health, as their Vice-President of Internal Affairs. For the past two years, she has represented students as part of the IDSSA, now serving as the President.

Over the past summer, she worked on a research internship with Professor Balàn. Her research focused on corruption in Latin America, primarily with the new left-wing governments. Naomi really enjoyed doing this research as she is very interested in politics in Latin America and it enabled her to get some experience with research. In addition, she is also interested in the Israel-Palestine conflict, the history of Zionism, and Palestinian refugees.

Naomi wrote her article for a course in the department of Social Work for a course on “Policies and Practices for Refugees,” which she thoroughly enjoyed as it provided a very different perspective on international development studies. Naomi chose to focus on UNRWA’s policies as she has always been interested in the region. The fact that Palestinian refugees pass down through generations their status, something that is unique to them, intrigued her. She found UNRWA’s approach to this particularity very interesting, which compelled her to write on this topic.  

Upon graduation, Naomi is hoping to get some experience in the field and to work with NGOs. Eventually, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree focusing on politics in Latin America or the Middle East.

You can find Naomi’s article here.

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