Fragile Intimacies: Marriage and Love in the Palestinian Camps of Jordan (1948-2001)

This article focuses on conjugal love as an articulated, lived emotion; on relationships between spouses within the context of the family; and on how these emotions and relations have changed over time in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. Based on interviews with four generations of Palestinian camp women, the article charts evolving marital patterns and attitudes toward marriage in relation to changing political circumstances and diverse influences. Particular emphasis is given to the third generation and the emergence of individualization of choice and its consequences. The influence of the family and the role of protection in the formation of conjugal bonds are also addressed.

STEPHANIE LATTE ABDALLAH is a research fellow at the Institut de Recherche et d’Etudes sur le Monde Arabe et Musulman, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Aix-en Provence, and a lecturer in history at the University of Provence.