Conflicts in Children’s Everyday Lives

Fresh Perspectives on Protracted Crisis in Lebanon

in Anthropology of the Middle East
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  • 1 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam e.i.van.ommering@vu.nl
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Abstract

Based on child-oriented, ethnographic research in Lebanese school communities, this article offers an alternative approach to understanding the multitude of conflicts affecting Lebanon. It highlights how young Lebanese engage with corollaries of conflict in their everyday lives and simultaneously points to sources of security and resilience that children employ to confront adverse conditions. These resources, which are located in homes, schools, the environment and the ways in which young people engage their surroundings, all face unique conflict-induced pressures and dynamics. Approaching children in their generational and political contexts can help us identify and strengthen their capacities to confront, rather than reinforce, adverse conditions. In turn, this may offer a more sustainable way of promoting peace in conflict-affected societies.

Contributor Notes

Erik van Ommering is a PhD student in the department of social and cultural anthropology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research explores the linkages between formal elementary education and violent conflict, and is based on ethnographic field research in school communities in Lebanon. Aside from his academic interest, he also works in the humanitarian response to the Syrian refugee crisis in the Middle East. E-mail: e.i.van.ommering@vu.nl

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