Mourning palestine: Death and grief rituals

Aref Abu-Rabia, Nibal Khalil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article presents various mourning rituals and death rites as they are practised in Palestine. It focuses on differences in the mourning experience among fellahin and Bedouin Arabs but also shows certain parallels in their mourning and grieving customs. The article provides information on the prescribed set of rituals that Palestinians perform, beginning with how the body is treated and the way that it is prepared for burial. Combinations of mourning practices, which vary from rending ones garments to throwing earth on ones head, provide socially sanctioned expressions of grief and sorrow. Mourning practices differ between women and men: the former lament loudly and scratch their faces, while among the latter tears are neither encouraged nor welcomed. Parallels can be seen in these rituals with mourning for Palestine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAnthropology of the Middle East
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Bedouin
  • Death
  • Fellahin
  • Grief
  • Mourning
  • Palestine
  • Rituals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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