Neighborhood in Nablus City: The Formation of a Social Safety Network during the Siege


  • Noura Kamal Institute for Social Anthropology / Austrian Academy of Sciences



Palestine, Nablus, Neighborhood, Siege, Occupation


In 2002, Nablus City in Palestine had to face more than one siege. The first siege affected all Palestinian cities; the Israeli army invaded the Palestinian territories and imposed a curfew for around a month in April. Later the same year between June and October, the city of Nablus witnessed a siege that was characterized by immobility and destruction. No one was allowed to leave their home; to do so put their lives under threat. This paper will reflect upon the role of the neighborhood in the construction of a social safety network. This network supported the inhabitants in their struggle to confront the occupational apparatus and to practice their daily activities despite the three-month siege that was imposed by the Israeli army. This paper focuses on neighborhood relations: describing their distinctive influence on peoples’ lives and reflecting on the meaning of being a neighbor, the obligations of neighbors within the same district, and how these relations manifested during the siege in 2002 and afterwards.


Noura Kamal, Institute for Social Anthropology / Austrian Academy of Sciences

Noura Kamal
holds a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna. Her thesis is about the scopes of agency in Nablus, Palestine under immediate siege and under regular Israeli occupation. She graduated from Birzeit University in Palestine with a Master’s degree in Sociology. Currently, she is a researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Social Anthropology.






Kamal, N. „Neighborhood in Nablus City: The Formation of a Social Safety Network During the Siege“. Middle East - Topics & Arguments, Bd. 14, Juli 2020, S. 160-74, doi:10.17192/meta.2020.14.8254.



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