Things that matter: Nostalgic objects in Palestinian Arab homes in Israel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article addresses the complex identity of Israel’s Palestinian Arab citizens from an atypical perspective: through manifestations of their material culture. The cultural expressions that will be examined are objects from the past and objects that relate to the past, particularly to the rustic Palestinian life profoundly destabilized by the 1948 Arab–Israeli war. These objects, displayed in the homes of some of Israel’s Arab citizens, are interpreted by contemplating their design, the design of their environment, their relationship to other objects, and their placement within the domestic sphere. Our study is animated by the desire to sketch a cultural portrait of Palestinian Arab Israelis, as well as by a methodological interest in interpretations based on a socio-architectural reading of objects. This article reveals the various layers of meaning within these nostalgic displays in all their diversity, and will discuss at length their uniqueness, which is linked to the past traumas and present difficulties of Israel’s Arabs. Our main purpose is to develop a line of thought whereby objects that express nostalgia are understood as the embodiment of a consciousness that is characteristic of the present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-249
Number of pages21
JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Things that matter: Nostalgic objects in Palestinian Arab homes in Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this