New Article: Stel, Palestinians from the Seven Villages

Stel, Nora. “‘The Children of the State’? How Palestinians from the Seven Villages Negotiate Sect, Party and State in Lebanon.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42.4 (2015): 538-57.





In Lebanon, the fear of tawṭīn makes nationalization of Palestinian refugees an anathema. Yet several groups of Palestinians have received Lebanese citizenship since 1948, most (in)famously those from the ‘seven villages’, a chain of Shi‘i villages on Lebanon’s southern border that was incorporated into Palestine in 1923. The trajectory of their nationalization is usually presented as a straightforward consequence of top-down Lebanese electoral politics. This article augments this dominant perspective through a case study of the community from the village of Salha, now in Israel, that currently lives in Shabriha, a small town near the city of Tyre in South Lebanon. Adopting the ‘negotiated statehood’ framework, the article offers an agency-oriented, bottom-up perspective on the community’s gaining of citizenship and shows how the people from Salha have acquired citizenship not merely to gain access to, but also to ensure a degree of independence from, the Lebanese state and political parties.


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