From ‘Ashā’ir to NGOs: Changing Sociopolitics in al-Naqab Bedouin Society

  • Henriette Dahan-Kalev
  • Emilie Le Febvre
Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)


Al-Naqab Bedouin way of life has changed significantly from those of their ancestors; relatives living in the West Bank, Gaza, or Sinai; and other groups living in states such as Jordan and Egypt since the mid-twentieth century. Among these, some of the most significant changes have occurred in al-Naqab Bedouin’s established sociopolitics as a result of Ottoman, British, and Israel policies, all of which have set out to administer the population in their own ways. As a result of their accumulated administrative legacies, al-Naqab Bedouin have witnessed profound reconfiguration of their mechanisms of governance, political expressions, political practices, and leadership (El’Sana-Alh’jooj and Marteu 2005). At a local level, the political influences of gabā’il have been almost entirely dissolved and the coherence of al-Naqab Bedouin ‘ashā’ir and rubū‘ are significantly less than they were at the beginning of the twentieth century. On a regional level, al-Naqab Bedouin today are recognized as “Israeli Arabs” within the contemporary Israeli political system. Up until the late twentieth century, Israel’s non-Jewish citizens or Palestinian minorities, such as al-Naqab Bedouin, were for the most part excluded from national politics and were often thought of as “trapped minority” (Rabinowitz 2001).


Civil Society Israeli Government Islamic Movement Israeli State Palestinian Liberation Organization 
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Copyright information

© Henriette Dahan-Kalev and Emilie Le Febvre 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henriette Dahan-Kalev
  • Emilie Le Febvre

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