Pieces of us: The intimate as imperial archive

Munira Khayyat, Yasmine Khayyat, Rola Khayyat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article uses a multigenerational lens to address the tangible and intangible embodiments of the US-Saudi oil empire in the lives of the three sister authors. This multisited intimate geography of empire challenges national categories and recognizes that mixing and migrations, forced or desired, shape and define all families. It explores the look, feel, and sounds of lifeworlds in the US imperial outpost of Aramco using an immense archive of family photographs and Fadia Basrawi’s memoir, Brownies and Kalashnikovs: A Saudi Woman’s Memoir of American Arabia and Wartime Beirut (2009). It considers the geopolitics of oil and the worlds it produced in the intimate relations and domestic quarters of the Aramco oil camp in the 1950s and 1960s, in the authors’ childhoods in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war, which also involved US imperialism, and as embodied in their lives at present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-291
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Middle East Women's Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Aramco
  • Intimacy
  • Lebanon
  • Saudi Arabia
  • US empire


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