Referencing the ‘‘stereotypes of self’’ identified by Rosemary Sayigh in the life stories of Palestinian camp women in Lebanon who had lived through the Palestinian resistance, the author focuses on the narratives of two women in Ramallah's Am'ari refugee camp since the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada to reflect on the Palestinian present. Though the women——and their goals and struggles——could not be more different, their narratives reveal significant shifts in self-representation that reflect both the impact of post-Oslo political realities and the new (unattainable) aspirations fueled by satellite television images and Ramallah caféé culture. The narratives also reflect, in very different ways, the national crisis, the impotence of Palestinian political groups and institutions, and the erosion of solidarities.
What Rosemary Saw: Reflections on Palestinian Women as Tellers of the Palestinian Present
Penny Johnson is an independent researcher and a research associate at the Institute of Women's Studies at Birzeit University, where she coedits the institute's Review of Women's Studies. She is an associate editor of Jerusalem Quarterly.
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Penny Johnson; What Rosemary Saw: Reflections on Palestinian Women as Tellers of the Palestinian Present. Journal of Palestine Studies 1 July 2009; 38 (4): 29–46. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jps.2009.38.4.29
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