The Palestinian refugee camps: The promise of ruin and loss

Fatina Abreek-Zubiedat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article aims to reconceptualize the aggregate Palestinian refugee camps in light of the political reality from which the refugees emerged, and take into consideration the new space that took shape, characterized by processes of destruction and dispossession of civil status. The article will focus specifically on the period 1948-1967, and examine these processes by using tools from architectural theory and history. The article contends that the architecture of the refugee camps acts as a type of unwritten rigid law, outlining the boundary between public and private realms-the sphere of the polis and that of the household and family (Arendt [1958] 1998, The Human Condition, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 28)-through continuous processes of construction and deconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-94
Number of pages23
JournalRethinking History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Refugees
  • architecture
  • camps
  • destruction
  • private
  • public


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