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

By Lotte Buch Segal | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Enduring Presents

I do not think about the future. Maybe one, at the most
two days ahead. That is all I can think of.

—Yasmin

Yasmin’s husband was serving a life sentence in a prison in Israel. He belongs to a political faction that does not fall under the heading of “moderate,” and he has been convicted of activities that place him in the category of “security detainee.” This category is defined by the Israel Prison Service as fitting “a prisoner who was convicted and sentenced for committing a crime, or who is imprisoned on suspicion of committing a crime, which due to its nature or circumstances was defined as a security offense or whose motive was nationalistic” (Baker and Matar 2011: vii; Francis and Gibson 2011). Yasmin’s husband was in fact released as part of a prisoner exchange in 2012, and like Nadia’s, Mervat’s, and Fatemeh’s, he is one of my interlocutors’ husbands to be freed. This would seem to cast Yasmin’s story in a different light, but the fact that he was returned not to his home in the West Bank but to Gaza, where Yasmin is not allowed to go and which he cannot leave, makes his release mockingly irrelevant. Due to his classification as a security detainee, Yasmin was not allowed to visit her husband during the last four years of his imprisonment, nor has she seen him since his release. She is thirty-one, was married at fourteen, and lives with her six children in the top flat of her mother-in-law’s mansion in a posh district of Bāb aš-šams. Given the still tense relations between political factions in Palestine there is little chance that Yasmin will be able to see her husband anytime soon. However, to bring

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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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