Living in limbo: Bosnian Muslim refugees in Israel

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6 Scopus citations


Challenging the idea that all refugees need to reestablish a new home in their country of refuge in order to avoid social disorganization and collective losses of identity and self-worth, this article shows that Bosnian Muslim families in Israel maintain family cohesion and their ethno-national identity while they live in limbo. This limbo, however, is relatively secure and stable, and due to the policies of the Israeli government, is family and work oriented, ensuring that Bosnian family heads can provide for their children, maintain gender complementarity within the household, and play out their hope that the war will end soon. Unlike their counterparts in refugee camps, Bosnian refugees in Israel have not become dependent or typified by the malaise and social disorganization that often accompanies displacement. The article ends by suggesting that the policy of creating limbo, rather than forcing long-term commitment to a new country, may indeed prevent cultural clashes and social problems, especially among war-torn refugees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-132
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Organization
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Bosnia
  • Israel
  • Muslims
  • Refugees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (all)


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