Bedouin children's experience of growing up in illegal villages, versus in townships in Israel: Implications of social context for understanding stress, and resilience in children's drawings Academic Article uri icon


  • With the setting up of the state of Israel, some Bedouin tribes in Israel moved to live in townships set up by the government, while others refused to leave their original lands, living in makeshift illegal homes in constant political conflict with the government. The aim of this article is to access the children's lived experience of their communities and the impact of these communities on their development. This article includes interviews with 20 ten-year-old children living in a township and 20 ten-year-olds living in an unrecognised village, asking them to draw where they live and to explain their community drawings. The results showed that the children in the unrecognised villages are embedded in a more traditional Bedouin set of values that provide resilience on the one hand, but on the other hand exact a developmental and emotional price due to lack of recourses as compared to the children in the townships. The methodological contribution is to provide culturally contextualised analyses of children's art work, pointing to the synergetic relationship between resilience and stress in their drawings.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013