The Social Texture of the Baqa Well:Drawing History from an Old Well in a Palestinian Arab Town in Israel

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Abstract

Water sources have always played a significant role in Palestinian rural life. Springs and wells are frequently depicted in orientalist sources, yet they have barely been studied from the perspective of oral history. This article explores the social texture of an ancient well, located in the Palestinian Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyya in Israel, by using fragmented memories of the old women and men who drew water from that well more than half a century ago. This study examines the well as a powerful reservoir of local memories, focusing on the feminine experience that was formed at the well, on its symbolic meaning in the lives of Palestinian women, and on a silent language of implicit expressions that was once used at the well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-825
Number of pages16
JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
Volume50
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

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