Available in Fall of 2009
This special double issue of JMEWS reframes the study of Arab families and the complex interweaving of gender relations within them in the context of two major dynamics – war and transnationalism. The issue represents the publication of the first empirical research results of the Arab Families Working Group, a network of 15 scholars who have worked together since 2001 to carry out critical comparative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research on Arab youth and families in Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, and their diasporas in the United States and Canada.
War and transnationalism are shaping not only the Arab world but the globe. In conversation, consultation, and comparative research, the seven contributors to this volume have been engaged in an intellectual project to understand how the site of “Arab families” – whether as social institution or social imaginary, statist project, discourse, trope of modernity, or tradition, or in their multiple lived realities – allows new understandings of the conflicts and contradictions besetting the region. The articles carry out critical historical and comparative and empirical research to offer new theoretical frameworks for problematizing Arab families and youth. The articles track the genealogy of domestic service in war-torn Lebanon for over half a century; analyze the transformation of the cultural politics of weddings in Palestine between the two Intifada’s; evaluate the consequences of repeated displacement on women and youth in Beirut and its suburbs; assess the impact on household decision making on the international migration of male household heads in Lebanon; identify the reaction of Arab Americans (especially Lebanese Americans) in Detroit to the 2006 war on Lebanon; and document the transformation of notions of citizenship and child socialization among transnational Lebanese families in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Ottawa, Canada. The authors’ empirically-rich projects offer complementary investigations into “the family” as constantly re-invented in the context of state projects in crisis, border crossings, global transformations, and failed modernisms.
The Arab Families Working Group’s empirical and theoretical projects can be browsed on the AFWG website, http://sjoseph.ucdavis.edu/afwg/. For more information on AFWG, contact AFWG facilitator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JMEWS 5.3 SPECIAL ISSUE War and Transnational Arab Families
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION, Penny Johnson and Suad Joseph
Weddings and War: Marriage Arrangements and Celebrations in Two Palestinian Intifadas, Penny Johnson, Lamis Abu Nahleh, and Annelies Moors
The Politics of Group Weddings in Palestine: Political and Gender Tensions, Islah Jad
Displaced Arab Families: Mothers’ Voices on Living and Coping in Postwar Beirut, Jihad Makhoul and Mary Ghanem
In the Shadows of Family Life: Toward a History of Domestic Service in Lebanon, Ray Jureidini
Male Migration and the Lebanese Family: The Impact on the Wife Left Behind, Mona Chemali Khalaf
Geographies of Lebanese Families: Women as Transnationals, Men as Nationals, and Other Problems with Transnationalism, Suad Joseph
Transnational Families Under Siege: Lebanese Shi‘a in Dearborn, Michigan, and the 2006 War on Lebanon, Nadine Naber
Women’s Memory Symposium: Women’s Library and Information Center, Istanbul, Diane James
Violence That Bleeds Borders: Transnational Engagement in the Women in Conflict Zones Symposium, Naazneen Diwan
Nefissa Naguib, Women, Water and Memory: Recasting Lives in Palestine, Reviewed by Rana Sharif
Iman Humaydan Younes, Wild Mulberries, B as in Beirut, Reviewed by Maya Mikdashi