Queering Heterosexual (Intersectarian) Love in Lebanon

  • Citation: Allouche, Sabiha. “Queering Heterosexual (Intersectarian) Love in Lebanon.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 51, no. 4 (2019): 547–65.
    • Topics:
    • Country and Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • affect theory
    • Lebanon
    • Middle East
    • queer theory
    • romantic love
    • sect

This article draws on a year of ethnography conducted among cis heterosexual couples in contemporary urban Lebanon in order to argue that, in the absence of a serious project of national reconciliation, intersectarian love, despite its short lifespan, constitutes restorative instances in post–civil war Lebanon. Intersectarian hetero desire emerges as a counter-discourse that threatens the masculinist foundations of the Lebanese state. By tracing the timeline of love in the life of Lebanese citizens, this article places personal narratives of “impossible” intersectarian love stories in conversation with queer temporality scholarship in order to recognize the political, albeit limited, potential of romantic love. Here, societal expectations of married life are replaced by an ephemeral unity that operates in contra to hegemonic interpretations of “man and wife.”

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