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Queer Beirut

Queer Beirut REVIEW Sofian Merabet Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014 287 pages. ISBN 9780292760967 Reviewed by JAKE SILVER In Sofian Merabet’s Queer Beirut, a walk through the Lebanese capital is far from a momentary stroll. War, violence, and their reconstructive aftermaths carve and recarve the possible routes along which one can wander. The cafés, offices, malls, public baths, and homes that dot the city’s paths, as well as the histories they harbor and retreats they offer, continue to evolve in tandem with tempos of conflict and commercialization, de- and redevelopment. With rich ethnographic care, Merabet walks his readers through Beirut’s streets, attentive to how the Lebanese Civil War (1985–90) reshaped its topography, and how processes of “repair” resonate in landmarks, beaches, and storefronts. Against a back- drop of architectural, infrastructural, demographic, and political change, he asks: How do queer individuals and groups navigate this continually evolving city in order to live, love, and enact their own desires? Merabet, an anthropologist with an eye toward the spatial, approaches queer Lebanese life by centering the social spaces where such identities and expressions take shape. These sites become central to his analysis because they “enable [manifold sexual] encounters in the first place” (172). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Middle East Women's Studies Duke University Press

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Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies
ISSN
1552-5864
eISSN
1558-9579
DOI
10.1215/15525864-6680283
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

REVIEW Sofian Merabet Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014 287 pages. ISBN 9780292760967 Reviewed by JAKE SILVER In Sofian Merabet’s Queer Beirut, a walk through the Lebanese capital is far from a momentary stroll. War, violence, and their reconstructive aftermaths carve and recarve the possible routes along which one can wander. The cafés, offices, malls, public baths, and homes that dot the city’s paths, as well as the histories they harbor and retreats they offer, continue to evolve in tandem with tempos of conflict and commercialization, de- and redevelopment. With rich ethnographic care, Merabet walks his readers through Beirut’s streets, attentive to how the Lebanese Civil War (1985–90) reshaped its topography, and how processes of “repair” resonate in landmarks, beaches, and storefronts. Against a back- drop of architectural, infrastructural, demographic, and political change, he asks: How do queer individuals and groups navigate this continually evolving city in order to live, love, and enact their own desires? Merabet, an anthropologist with an eye toward the spatial, approaches queer Lebanese life by centering the social spaces where such identities and expressions take shape. These sites become central to his analysis because they “enable [manifold sexual] encounters in the first place” (172).

Journal

Journal of Middle East Women's StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Jul 1, 2018

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