Whither the “Children of the Stone”? An Entire Life under Occupation

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VOL. 45


No. 2
P. 77
Special Feature on Palestinian Well-Being: Suffering, Resilience, and Political Liberation
Whither the “Children of the Stone”? An Entire Life under Occupation

This article summarizes a uniquely thorough study of the first generation of Palestinians to have lived the whole of their lives under occupation. Findings from group interviews and large, representative surveys of men and women from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in 2011 draw a complex portrait of day-to-day life both currently and historically, including: widespread political activism that they continue to prize; high levels of exposure to often demeaning political violence and restriction of movement; limited access to basic resources, low employment stability and poverty; high levels of social cohesion, but also of lack of safety, political instability, fear for the future, stress, and feeling broken. Most were not optimistic in 2011 about the peace process but remained, confident in their ability to manage what the future brings. The findings also show that each of the three territories has unique types and levels of challenges.


Brian K. Barber is a fellow at New America in Washington, the founding director of the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict, and professor of child and family studies, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


Clea McNeely is associate professor of public health and associate faculty of the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


Chenoa Allen is a doctoral student in public health at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


Rita Giacaman is professor of public health at the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University.


Cairo Arafat is a civil rights adviser to Save the Children UK.


Mahmoud Daher, PhD, is a public health expert and researcher from Gaza.


Eyad El Sarraj, MD, is now deceased and was the founding director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.


Mohammed AbuMallouh, PhD, is former director of the Gaza office of the Qattan Centre for Educational Research and Development.


Robert F. Belli is professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.