‘Moving from silence into speech’: Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon speak about their lives

Holt, Maria
March 2010
Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture;Mar2010, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p69
Academic Journal
Palestinian Arabs who were forced to flee from their land when the state of Israel was established in 1948 are one of the oldest refugee communities in the world, and those living in Lebanon are recognized as being the most disadvantaged. By focusing on the memories and identity formation of refugee women and asking how successive generations have addressed the hardships of exile while waging an anti-colonial struggle to claim their rights, my article will argue, firstly, that the nature of women's involvement and the ways in which they have been affected by trauma is somewhat different from the experiences of men; and, secondly, that despite substantial changes in the lives of individuals, today's young generation of Palestinians are no nearer to resolving the ‘refugee issue’ than their parents or grandparents. However, by ‘moving from silence into speech’, Palestinian refugee women have begun to articulate and enact a ‘new vision for the future’.


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