No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners, and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine

By Lotte Buch Segal | Go to book overview

PREFACE

My time in Palestine has left me with a sadness that flows from the experiences of the people I encountered there. The question of whether this influences my interpretation of words, human beings, and situations is at best rhetorical. Many times I did not know how to respond to the words, tears, or gestures of the human beings at the heart of this book. How could I reply? As a female researcher from one of the most affluent societies of the world. As a woman whose life is not imperiled by the systematic exhaustion of the Palestinian occupation. As someone who feels empathy with the people she meets without certainty that empathy is ever exhaustive or necessarily the pathway to knowledge.

A student in my Psychology in Anthropology course asked me after having read Chapter 2 of this book for class: “Do you understand these women?” To this question I replied with a qualified “Yes.” It is a yes only if we mean knowledge in the sense of acknowledgment, which I offer here. I have done my best not to simplify these women’s experiences, but I also know that I could not entirely avoid it.

I feel compelled to act upon what I know, but I am not sure of the consequences. I write. I tell. Who listens? Some do. Does it matter? I do not know. João Biehl once asked me what I thought was the most powerful part of my work. It took me an hour to dare to say that it may have been sitting down and listening to those women, so at least they knew that I had heard their stories. They knew, and I knew. Now you know.

-ix-

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No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners, and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Note on Transliteration x
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Grammar of Suffering in Occupied Palestine 26
  • Chapter 2 - Domestic Uncanniness 48
  • Chapter 3 - Enduring Presents 81
  • Chapter 4 - On Hardship and Closeness 99
  • Chapter 5 - Solitude in Marriage 124
  • Chapter 6 - Enduring the Ordinary 143
  • Conclusion 167
  • Notes 177
  • References 183
  • Index 197
  • Acknowledgments 207
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