The picture of everyday life in besieged Nablus that emerges from this essay is one of simultaneous fragmentation and social cohesion: fragmentation in the class and generational tensions, factional power struggles, estrangement between townsmen and camp dwellers; social cohesion in the enduring family and solidarity networks, well-organized grassroots committees, and the unifying impact of Israeli military pressures. While shedding light on the radical cultural, demographic, and structural transformations underway, this closely observed personal narrative also conveys the sense of imprisonment that characterizes this virtually sealed off town subjected to individual and collective punishments, from targeted assassinations to selective curfews and the intentional destruction of infrastructure and architectural patrimony.

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