Lila Abu-Lughod Chapter 5

I have loved reading this entire book. Hearing real stories that all intertwine from this Bedouin family in Egypt gets a more realistic perspective to aspects of the Mediterranean we have been discussing. In chapter 5 Lila mainly writes about an essay that one of Migdin’s grand-daughters, Kamla, wrote. There are several aspects of how honour and shame are viewed in the Bedouin culture. Through the chapter Kamla and Lila discuss how the traditions are changing primarily for the women. On page 233 the section Piety was intriguing to me. In the chapter up to this point there was discussion of how the women of this younger generation were changing, largely in their search of education. But in this section Kamla writes about some traditions she hopes are preserved.

  1. Their piety and total adherence to the traditions of the Prophet  2. Their total respectfulness 3. Their generosity 4.Hospitality and respect for guest 5. The ties of kinship that link various parts of the family and the cooperation of relatives in all situations

The last point is the one I find the most interesting. In the beginning of the chapter Kamla talks about how her and some others are against the tradition of marrying their first cousins. She says how she wants to find an educated man from the city to marry, not a cousin. I believe these five points she wants to preserve are good ones, even though she is still trying to change others. My question is why do you think she chose these five points? Especially the last one of “cooperation of relatives in all situations” when she fights to make changes to other traditions.

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