Shia Marriage Practices: Karbala as lieux de mémoire in London

Dr Yafa Shanneik’s latest article, entitled ‘Shia Marriage Practices: Karbala as lieux de mémoire in London’, is now available online.

Published in the open access journal Social Sciences, the article examines marriage practices among displaced Iraqi Shia migrants in the UK. Muslim marriages have gained much attention in public debates and academic research, though only a few studies have examined this group, and fewer by investigating their marriage practices as a way to preserve their religious and cultural memory.

The article is based on the concept of lieux de mémoire, which refers to spaces, objects or events that have a significant meaning to a particular groups’ collective memory. Dr Shanneik argues that the transnational aspects of cultural memory expressed in Shia marriage practices (such as rituals, images, and objects) among the Iraqi Twelver Shia women in the UK can be regarded as examples of transnational Shia lieux de mémoire. These marriage practices, although appropriated for various personal, social, and religious memories outside of any national framework, are still highly politicised.